Charlotte Hornets: Is trading with Knicks for Julius Randle still an option?

New York Knicks Julius Radle. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
New York Knicks Julius Radle. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /

As the Charlotte Hornets wait for news about how the offseason will be conducted, could the team revisit a previously proposed trade?

Throughout the season, the Charlotte Hornets have received a lot of production from their young and new players. The Hornets have done well enough, that other teams have noticed their talent.

Before February’s trade deadline, the Hornets were engaged in trade talks with the New York Knicks. Trade talks were strong, and many thought a trade between the two teams was going to happen.

On March 30th, Ian Begley of SNY confirmed that the Knicks were closing in on a trade for Terry Rozier. Even though Rozier was one of two point guards the Knicks were targeting, the team still had a lot of internal support with a proposed trade to the Hornets.

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In the trade proposal, the Knicks would send the Hornets Julius Randle, Dennis Smith Jr., and a future first-round pick. In return, the Hornets would send the Knicks Malik Monk and Terry Rozier.

As we look at the trade now, you can see why this was a tough trade to accept. As of now, Rozier is one of the team’s leading scorers. In addition, Randle was also the leading scorer for the Knicks this season.

In just 64 games so far this season, Randle averaged 19.5 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. However, Randle saw huge drops in his field goal percentage from last season; one of the main reasons behind this was because he averaged a career-high 15.7 shot attempts per game.

Since Randle joined the Knicks this season, many knew he would have to become a leader for the team. He has led his team all season, and he became the only major scorer after the Knicks traded away Marcus Morris.

If Charlotte decides to put Randle back on their radar, it would be because of the connection he shares with Mitch Kupchak. During the 2014 NBA Draft, Randle was selected by Kupchak for the Los Angels Lakers.

Since Kupchak was involved in the February trade talks, that only means that he still has an interest in his former draft pick. However, Kupchak may not be eager to make a huge trade like this with as well as Rozier has played.

If Randle did join the Hornets, he would likely be the starting center, since PJ Washington looks like the team’s starting power forward moving forward. For Randle to play center, it would make sense, since Coach James Borrego has experimented with small-ball lineups this season.

Randle has experience playing center, and he would likely be okay with playing this spot for the Hornets. His lack of height may be an issue, but Randle has not had many problems in the past when he’s played at this spot.

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It’ll be interesting to see if the Hornets take another look at Randle, but I don’t think it will happen if the team continues to roll with the Devonte’ Graham and Terry Rozier duo.