Julius Randle was perhaps the biggest New York Knicks disappointment in the 2021-22 season, and while most of the fanbase has already shipped him out in trades, he’s still a Knick. Until the day comes when that isn’t the case, the fans should be behind the 2021 Most Improved Player.
We all know that Randle is an incredible basketball talent, and after a fantastic campaign in 2020-21 that saw New York find its leader en route to a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference, it seemed like he was taking another step. So, it’s very hard to pinpoint exactly what went wrong this past season.
After a turbulent year, plenty has been said about Randle and his fit with this Knicks squad. While it would be easy for him to zone out among all this trade chatter and criticism, No. 30 is buckling down, preparing to bounce back with whichever team he’s on in 2022-23.
What does the future look like for Julius Randle and the Knicks?
From the looks of this picture and workout, which sees Randle in incredible, arguably better shape than his MIP season, the league should be put on notice, as New York may believe that Randle is ready to lead this team once again moving forward.
If you’re a Knicks fan who has already decided in your mind that Randle is gone, this likely isn’t going to change your mind, but given how good he looks right now, it’s hard not to raise the question about Randle and his future in New York.
One more thing we see in this picture is young Knicks center Jericho Sims, who is looking like he is in immense shape. After the great rookie year we saw from the 2021 No. 58 overall pick, and the improvements he made towards the end of the year, we may be looking at New York’s future starter.
Sims always had the physical traits and the athleticism, but it was his improvements on the defensive end and his touch around the basket, highlighted by The Athletic here (subscription required), that impressed the Knicks’ front office and fans most of all. Seeing him look this good while working out with No. 30 should give all fans a little bit more optimism for this team.
Ultimately, it’s still only early June, and the draft, free agency, NBA Summer League, and preseason (plus The Finals, we guess) all stand between us and 2022-23. Given this early glimpse into the work ethic of Randle and Sims, this could be a sign of a bounce-back campaign in The Big Apple.