The New York Knicks have a 21st century problem, and it’s one best described with a 21st century analogy. I’m not going to go into a lengthy summary of Randle’s history with New York. I’ll sum it up, with bullet points (21st century style):
- The Knicks sign Randle, a basic PF, in 2019 on a short term/low risk deal.
- In his second year, Randle is lit, becomes an All Star, and makes the All-NBA 2nd team.
- Somewhat thirsty Knicks extend his contract until 2026.
- Boujee Randle acts sus, ghosts the media.
- Thibs sips tea.
- Twitter throws shade at Randle with clips of his exploits.
That said, the Knicks have a dilemma — what to do with their star player? There’s a chorus of fans hoping New York trades Randle, which they can do between February 3rd and 10th. And maybe they should, except for one thing: given Julius’ recent play, the Knicks would get pennies on the dollar. For some, sending Randle, a potential All Star/All NBA player to another team for little in return is unappetizing. Should the team wait until Randle reverts to a better version of himself, and therefore get better assets in return?
Let’s assume for a second that some time ago, you invested some money in Cryptocurrency: Randle-Coin. Now you didn’t think much of it, but all of a sudden you open your online wallet, and your investment doubled. Great! What do you do with it? You could sell your Randle-Coin, and take that money and invest it elsewhere. However you assume that the money you withdraw will probably make less in whatever you put it in (bank, stocks, Fabergé eggs, etc.) than if you just keep that money in Randle-Coin. So you keep your investment as is currently stands. Next day you look, and Randle-Coin has taken a huge dip, and is only worth what you originally bought it for. Or maybe it’s worth less than that. What do you do then?
Selling seems like a bad idea, because Randle-Coin was just worth double that, and it’s possible that it could rise again. For a moment, let’s assume you hold your investment, and Randle-Coin does in fact increase in value. What do you do with the money? Well now since it’s increased, you’re back where you were a short while ago, when you decided to leave the money in crypto because it could go up again. So you don’t cash-in, and you keep your Randle-Coin…
See the paradox? When the value of something is lower than you expect, you won’t sell (buy low, sell high!). But if the value of that thing increases, you won’t sell, because THE GAINZ!
Let’s bring this back to Julius. Let’s assume the Knicks don’t depart with him now, because the price is too low. And if they don’t trade him, should Randle’s value increase, they’re not likely to depart with him, because he’s too valuable to them! In other words why on Earth would you trade Randle if he returns to his 2020-2021 form?
So in a way it doesn’t make sense to wait and see with Randle, because if he turns the corner and suddenly starts playing well, the Knicks won’t want to depart with him. And of course, we’re making a big assumption here — that Randle can/will revert to his better self for the duration of his contract. I’d like to assume the issue with Randle isn’t physical. There’s no indication that his lackluster play is a result of an injury of some sort. And even if that were the case, it wouldn’t describe the bizarre non-play aspects of his downturn. Randle has been exhibiting a number of mental effects: hiding from the media, the thumbs down, not being neighborly to his teammates, his mental lapses on defense, etc.
In short, the Knicks are in a must-sell situation. Either before the deadline or over the summer, they must trade Randle. Given the history of NBA stars that have self-imploded, it’s unlikely that Randle returns to an All-NBA caliber player. His ceiling his likely a supplement to a team that’s already winning, not the centerpiece of one that’s trying to get to .500. Additionally Randle’s sabotage isn’t just harming himself, he’s hurting his team with his lackluster play over 35+ minutes, and the poor habits he exhibits on a nightly basis in front of his impressionable young teammates. New York has a plethora of young talent that could fill the void of Randle’s minutes, shot taking, and leadership.
While the Knicks probably won’t get much in return in a Randle trade, but they’d still have a lot to gain on the tail end of this season by doing so.