Knicks mulling different options for Julius Randle contract extension

The New York Knicks and Julius Randle have been such a phenomenal fit this season.

Julius Randle is about to get paid big time, and the New York Knicks are well aware of this.

Randle signed a three-year deal with the Knicks during 2019 NBA free agency worth $62.1 million. In the midst of his breakout season in New York, the Knicks and Randle are figuring out what is the best course of action in terms of a possible contract extension. Randle is slated to make $19.8 million for the 2021-22 NBA season, with only $4 million of that fully guaranteed.

Should Randle get the Knicks to extend him this summer or wait to enter free agency in 2022?

The New York Knicks know that Julius Randle is getting paid one way or another

New York will want Randle to sign an extension this summer if they believe his best basketball is ahead of him. The Knicks would have him under contract for several more years at a fair price, or possibly at a discount. Randle could get long-term security by signing an extension this summer. However, if he wants to bet on himself, he could stand to make even more on the open market.

According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst (subscription required), the Knicks could add up to $106 million in guaranteed money this offseason, which would put him at five years and $140 million including incentives if he accepted an extension. However, he could make nearly $100 million more if he plays at an All-Star level again next season and receives a max contract in 2022. The two sides could also agree to a short-term extension, giving Randle his well-earned payday while retaining flexibility for both parties.

The last thing the Knicks want — from a financial perspective, at least — is for Randle to be an All-NBA-level player through next season. While they would be able to keep him if they feel so inclined, he would be infinitely more expensive if he balls out next year for them as a pending free agent. Conversely, his stock could plummet if he were to enter next summer as a free agent after a season of regression, or … after an injury.

By mulling all their options, both parties can make the best decision possible later this summer.

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