Skip to main content

With No. 1 Pick, Knicks Select ... Julius Randle Replacement?

If the New York Knicks win the draft lottery, it could change the direction of the franchise.

There's a two percent chance the New York Knicks end up with the top pick in next week's NBA Draft Lottery. While the chances are small, if the improbable happens, chaos would reign in the Big Apple.


The three potential top picks in the NBA Draft this year are all big men: Auburn's Jabari Smith Jr., Duke's Paolo Banchero and Gonzaga's Chet Holmgren.

According to Bleacher Report, the Knicks would select Smith first overall. Even if the Knicks chose one of the aforementioned three potential top picks, it would likely create a logjam in the frontcourt with All-Star power forward Julius Randle.

Randle, 27, averaged 20.1 points, 9.9 rebounds and 5.1 assists last season in 72 games. Although the numbers were solid, Randle experienced a regression from his dominant 2020-21 stats.

Scroll to Continue

Read More

This past season was an indication that Randle's best basketball may be behind him. If the Knicks draft a frontcourt player with a ton of potential, it could pierce into Randle's minutes or keep the top pick from making as big of an impact as possible.


If the ping-pong balls fell in the Knicks' favor, it could possibly push Randle onto the trade block. There have been rumors surrounding Randle being unhappy in New York before, but he's denied requesting for a trade.

There wasn't much of a reason to trade Randle given the lack of depth behind him, but drafting a player like Smith, Banchero or Holmgren could be the shove the Knicks need to make a move.