Two former Kentucky Wildcats stars could be on the move in the NBA and will likely be mentioned in trade talks all off-season.
On Monday, Jonathan Marci of Knicks Film School reported in his Free Agent Frenzy newsletter that Julius Randle and Kevin Knox would be the center of a trade that would send them to the Oklahoma City Thunder and bring Chris Paul to the New York Knicks.
“According to multiple sources familiar with the Knicks thinking, New York is readying initial offers to potentially bring the Point God to the Mecca. Julius Randle and Kevin Knox are two names I’m hearing are involved in internal discussions. I’m also told that Paul’s preference will play into his eventual destination, and his connection with Leon Rose is a factor.”
This isn’t the only time that Paul to the Knicks rumors have been reported, as Scoop Robinson recently tweeted that the Knicks were interested in getting Paul to New York. Ian Begley of SYN reported that the Knicks believe Paul would be able to “jumpstart” the franchise with a young core around him.
Paul had an outstanding season in OKC and was the team’s top player as they shocked the NBA making the playoffs and pushed the Houston Rockets to a Game 7 in the opening round of the playoffs. However, now that head coach Billy Donovan has left the franchise, it would seem like Paul is also on his way out, which would hand the keys over to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
As for Randle and Knox being traded, Randle just finished the first of a three-year deal with the Knicks where they wanted him to be the main scoring option. It was quickly proven that he couldn’t be the no. 1 option on a playoff team.
As for Knox, he didn’t have the best season compared to his rookie year but a lot of that was due to the fact that the Knicks’ coaching staff refused to play their young core many minutes despite racking up loss after loss.
The best thing for both of them could be a fresh start with a coaching staff willing to develop Knox and making Randle a No. 2 or 3 option.
Marci also reported that the Knicks aren’t interested in moving too valuable pieces like RJ Barrett, Mitchell Robinson, first-round picks, etc. leaving Knox and Randle as the next best option. Marci also put the chances Paul ends up in New York at “under 50 percent.”
Even though the Knicks recently hired former Kentucky Wildcats’ coach Kenny Payne, it doesn’t appear that Randle and Knox will be around too long.
However, unless they are involved in the trade the OKC roster could include SGA, Knox, Randle, Hamidou Diallo, and Nerlens Noel next season which would be fun to watch.