3 Knicks on Thin Ice Heading Into the Playoffs

The New York Knicks are hoping to make a deep postseason run. These three players have the most to prove.
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
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Julius Randle

How can a player who is out for the playoffs be on thin ice heading into it? Let me explain.

As good as Randle has been as a Knick, New York has proven itself to be capable of winning without him. They had a 21-15 record this season without Randle in the lineup and a big part of this was also without OG Anunoby and other key players. Not only do the defensive intensity and competence of this team go to a different level without Randle, but the offense doesn't suffer much either.

Putting the ball in Jalen Brunson's hands and surrounding him with three shooters plus a center has done wonders for the Knicks. It pushed Brunson's performance to a new level and made him an MVP candidate.

Putting three-and-D players like Donte DiVincenzo, OG Anunoby, and Miles McBride around Brunson gave the Knicks a formula they can continue to replicate going forward. If they find postseason success with this, they might start seeing Randle as superfluous. Especially considering how much Randle struggled in the postseason with the Knicks previously, this playoffs could potentially signal the end of the Randle era in New York.

Randle is on a team-friendly contract, only making $30 million next year, and has a player option for the year after. This makes him a very tradeable piece. Plenty of teams in the NBA would trade for a multiple-team All-Star in his prime. He could be the main piece in a trade for a superstar or could net the Knicks better-fitting role players around Brunson.