Knicks reward Julius Randle for breakout season with massive extension

Off a breakout season as the New York Knicks returned to the playoffs, Julius Randle has been rewarded with a nice contract extension.

Tom Thibodeau’s first season as head coach went well for the New York Knicks, with a 41-31 record to earn the No. 4 seed in the East. The poster boy for that resurgence was Julius Randle.

Now, off that breakout season, the Knicks have rewarded the NBA’s reigning Most Improved Player.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Knicks and Randle have agreed to a four-year, $117 million contract extension. He is now under contract for five years and a total of $140 million (according to Randle’s agents, who have a vested interest in conveying it as positively as possible). According to Wojnarowski, the fourth year of the new deal (2025-26) is a player option.

Julius Randle cashed in on breakout campaign, and possibly left future money on the table

Randle set career-highs virtually across the board (24.1 points, 10.2 rebounds, 6.0 assists per game; 41.1 percent from 3-point range) last season, as he also earned second-team All-NBA honors. He is widely seen among those that like to assert such things as a No. 2 guy on a really good team, not a star in the vein of the names that are too obvious to mention.

As noted by Wojnarowski, Randle could have waited until his contract expired next summer and signed a new deal worth $200 million. He instead chose security in a comfortable spot through his prime (he’s somehow only approaching his 27th birthday-Nov. 29), while allowing the Knicks the flexibility to build a viable contender around him in the coming years. Doing so in the right way is a different conversation, but it’s also easy to instantly react to what are seen as free agency missteps before the proof is in the pudding.

Randle’s deal may wind up looking bad in hindsight, as this offseason is probably the peak of his bankable value. But the Knicks see him as part of their core, and right or wrong they weren’t going to let him get away.

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