Julius Randle
Julius Randle
24-Year-Old ForwardF
New York Knicks
2018 Fantasy Outlook
After a slow start to the 2017-18 season, Randle came on strong to finish the year, boosting his Fantasy stock across the board. He played in all 82 games and ended the season as the Lakers' leader in scoring and rebounding, while shooting an impressive 56 percent from the field. Despite the way he finished the season, Randle was still not assured of his role moving forward and opted to test the free agency waters. The Pelicans clearly liked what they saw from Randle, and he'll step in as Anthony Davis' new frontcourt partner following the departure of DeMarcus Cousins. Teaming with Davis, a fellow Kentucky product, could entail an adjustment process, but the Pelicans aren't overly deep up front, so Randle should see plenty of opportunity. While he'll battle Nikola Mirotic for minutes at the four, Randle is the more natural fit next to Davis, and Mirotic is more than capable of sliding down to the wing in certain lineups. Production-wise, a replication of last season's numbers seems fairly realistic, but it remains to be seen whether Randle will be able to maintain his scoring efficiency. Putting up points and rebounds are what Randle does best, and though he's flashed some improvement on the defensive end, he's not likely to be much of a contributor in blocks (0.5 per game in 2017-18) or steals (0.5 per game). Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a three-year, $63 million contract with the Knicks in July of 2019. Contract includes $22 million team option for 2021-22.
Joining Knicks
FNew York Knicks
June 30, 2019
Randle and the Knicks agreed to a three-year, $63 million contract Sunday, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports.
New York was reluctant to offer Kevin Durant a max deal due to his Achilles injury, but they did manage to land Randle, who put up 21.4 points along with 8.7 boards and 3.1 assists across 73 contests a season ago in New Orleans. He'll immediately step into the starting five, likely pushing either Mario Hezonja or Mitchell Robinson to a bench role.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
In what was effectively his second NBA season after a broken leg suffered in his NBA debut limited him to just one game as a rookie in 2014-15, Randle elevated his marks in just about every category except rebounds, averaging 13.2 points, 8.6 boards and 3.6 assists in 28.8 minutes per game while shooting 48.7 percent from the floor. It’s certainly a positive development when a young player shows year-to-year gains in both efficiency and statistical production, though Randle’s growth may have been a little flatter than some expected, particularly on the defensive end. Randle’s lack of rim-protecting skills and inability to lock down rangier power forwards may inhibit his outlook a bit in real-life terms, but he carries much more appeal for Fantasy purposes. Aside from the nearly six-point improvement he showed in field-goal percentage, Randle’s transformation into a playmaker was the most positive development of his 2016-17 campaign. For a player listed at 6-foot-9, Randle showed unusual comfort with handling the ball and finding open teammates, which translated to a nice boost in his assist totals. Among frontcourt players, only Nikola Jokic (six) and Draymond Green (five) ended up with more triple-doubles than Randle, who collected three on the season. With the Lakers adding more outside shooting to the roster this summer in veteran center Brook Lopez, swingman Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and rookie point guard Lonzo Ball, Randle is in good shape to add more assists to his ledger, though the upgraded supporting cast could have a more negative impact on his scoring. Randle must also make further strides on the defensive end to ensure he doesn’t lose out on playing time to the likes of Larry Nance and rookie Kyle Kuzma.
After missing all but 14 minutes of his rookie season with a broken leg, Randle returned to play 81 games in 2015-16, averaging 11.3 points, 10.2 points and 1.8 assists across what was an up-and-down campaign. Randle found himself in and out of former coach Byron Scott’s doghouse for much of the year and didn’t stick in a full-time starting role until February. That didn’t stop him from posting respectable counting stats, but Randle’s 42.9 percent mark from the field fell well below an acceptable level for a power forward. While Randle’s ability to handle the ball in the open court and create off the dribble is intriguing, his decision-making needs work, and it’s unclear how long of a leash new coach Luke Walton will give him. The Lakers also added Luol Deng, Yi Jianlian and Brandon Ingram this offseason to join Larry Nance, all four of whom could see time as small-ball power forwards, potentially cutting into Randle’s minutes load. That said, the 21-year-old Randle remains one of the Lakers’ three best long-term assets, and with the Lakers entering a developmental phase, he’ll likely be given every opportunity to prove he’s capable of holding on to the starting power forward spot long term.
While not technically a rookie, Randle should be considered a first-year player for all intents and purposes, as he played just 14 minutes last season, before succumbing to a fractured right tibia in the season's opening game. In his 2015 Summer League campaign, Randle played just 20 minutes per game in his four games, averaging 11.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.0 steals, and 0.8 blocks while shooting 40 percent from the field and 64 percent from the free-throw line. Not only is Randle recovering from his leg fracture, and may continue to be on a minutes restriction through the season's early going, but the Lakers signed Brandon Bass in free agency to compete with Randle for the minutes at power forward. With coach Byron Scott still in charge, there's a big chance that he favors the veteran option in Bass, which would render Randle as not useful in standard fantasy leagues. Looking back at Randle's stats in his last full season as a freshman at Kentucky, he averaged 15.0 points, 10.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.8 blocks, and 0.1 three-pointers, shooting 50 percent from the field and 71 percent from the line in 31 minutes. The lack of numbers outside of points and rebounds could limit Randle's fantasy upside for this season, and his potential in dynasty leagues.
The seventh-overall selection of the 2014 NBA Draft was the earliest selection the Lakers have had since picking James Worthy number one overall back in 1982. In fact, when they chose Randle, it marked the first time the Lakers had a first-round selection since taking Toney Douglas in 2009, and even then, Douglas was immediately traded to the New York Knicks. So, with a dearth of young talent on the team, Randle figures to be the face of the future for the storied franchise. Many thought Randle would be carrying a large load this season as the featured player down low, but the amnesty acquisition of Carlos Boozer tempered those expectations somewhat. There's no doubting Randle is the team's future. Last season, in his only season at Kentucky, Randle averaged 15.0 points, 10.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.5 steals, and 0.8 blocks in 31 minutes per game through 40 games. He shot 50 percent from the field on 9.8 attempts and 71 percent from the line on 7.2 attempts. Over the course of this season, the big man from Kentucky will likely play around 20-24 minutes per night, although he needs to improve his defensive statistics to become an elite fantasy option.
More Fantasy News
Will test open market
FNew Orleans Pelicans
June 16, 2019
Randle is set to become an unrestricted free agent in July after declining his $9 million player option for the 2019-20 season Sunday, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports.
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Out for finale
FNew Orleans Pelicans
April 9, 2019
Randle (rest) will not play Tuesday against the Warriors, Andrew Lopez of The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.
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Will be rested Sunday
FNew Orleans Pelicans
April 7, 2019
Randle will only play in an emergency situation in Sunday's game against the Kings, Jennifer Hale of Fox Sports New Orleans reports.
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Explodes in OT loss
FNew Orleans Pelicans
April 6, 2019
Randle managed 31 points (13-24 FG, 0-2 3Pt, 5-11 FT), 14 rebounds and three assists across 38 minutes in the Pelicans' 133-126 overtime loss to the Suns on Friday.
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Double-doubles in loss
FNew Orleans Pelicans
April 4, 2019
Randle finished with 34 points (12-19 FG, 3-5 3Pt, 7-8 FT), 11 rebounds, three assists, two steals, and one block in 34 minutes during Wednesday's 115-109 loss to the Hornets.
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