Gotham City, fret not. Julius Randle is here to stay.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the New York Knicks star forward has agreed to a four-year, $117 million contract extension after a stellar 2020-21 campaign.
In his second season with the Knicks, Randle would go on to averaged 24.1 points, 10.2 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game, winning the NBA’s Most Improved Player award while being nominated to the second-team All-NBA and leading New York to the fourth seed in the East after an almost decade-long drought from the playoffs
This extension now increases Randle’s overall contract to five years and $140 million.
If Randle can maintain his caliber of play from last season, this contract is undoubtedly a steal. Of all players who qualified for the First or Second All-NBA team last season, Randle has the cheapest annual salary at $27.3 million, over $2 million less than the next player.
Average annual salaries for players that made the First or Second Team All-NBA last season:— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) August 5, 2021
Giannis: $45.6 million
Lillard: $44.0 million
LeBron: 42.8 million
Chris Paul: $30M
Durant: $41.0 M
Julius Randle: $27.3 million
Randle could have postponed signing this extension until the end of next season, and potentially received an offer worth over $200 million. However, agreeing to this extension affords New York a great deal of financial flexibility in order to build a roster around Randle for the future, showing impressive foresight from both parties.
The Knicks have already begun that process this offseason; they have signed guards Evan Fournier and Kemba Walker and resigned much of the core that helped lead the Knicks to the playoffs last year — including Nerlens Noel, Taj Gibson and Alec Burks.
Now, with Randle signed for the foreseeable future, the Knicks will likely see their eyes on more than just a playoff bid.