"Y'all trippin on Julius Randle" - Kevin Garnett vehemently pleads Knicks to retain core for at least 2 years 

Kevin Garnett vehemently pleads Knicks to retain core for at least 2 years ft. Julius Randle
Kevin Garnett vehemently pleads Knicks to retain core for at least 2 years ft. Julius Randle

Kevin Garnett doesn't want the New York Knicks to give up on Julius Randle after murmurs about his future with the team caught steam following their conference semis exit. Randle's tenure with the Knicks has seen extreme highs and lows.

After missing the entire 2024 playoffs, his name has floated in potential trade packages, with a lack of consistent primary scoring option being viewed as New York's biggest weakness.

During an appearance on Stephen A. Smith's podcast, Garnett vehemently shut down the ESPN analyst after he asked if the Knicks needed a No. 1 option next to Jalen Brunson.

"What is Randle?" Garnett asked. "Man, Julius Randle is a 25 (points) and 10 (rebounds) guy in this league."

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Smith argued that Randle isn't a No. 1 option, but Garnett countered, saying:

"You trippin' ... He grew his game with the 3 ball. Man, y'all trippin on Julius Randle, he's one of the harder guards in this mug, and he left handed, he got a 3 ball, he can playmake. Man, I mean, he ain't perfect."

Garnett added that bringing in a superstar won't be advisable because the players on the roster are accustomed to the heavy workload of playing grittily for 48 minutes. The Boston Celtics legend believes the Knicks are "perfect" as they are because of this and they should hold the group together for at least two years before deciding to make a big-name scoop.

"Let's run two years with this team and then talk about the superstar s**t," Garnett said.

Knicks would have had a puncher's chance with Julius Randle to win the East

However, the injuries buried their hopes ahead of Game 7, with Josh Hart suffering an abdominal soreness in Game 6, Anunoby hobbling with a hamstring strain, and Jalen Brunson fracturing his strong hand mid-game. The fight that the Knicks showed despite these issues arguably made them the best underdog performer of the 2024 postseason.

Considering how the shorthanded Knicks exceeded expectations, with available players making significant leaps, there's a feeling that this team was destined to achieve more if Julius Randle was healthy.

The Knicks sorely missed his presence next to Jalen Brunson, who was made a case as the best player in the playoffs until the conference semis, averaging 32.4 points and 7.5 assists on 44/31/78 splits. New York's next-best scorer, Donte DiVincenzo, averaged 17.8 ppg on 41.9% shooting.

Randle's 24 points a night and 10 rebounds a game could have eased the pressure on star man Brunson and the role players, who were constantly asked to step into different shoes because of the team's injury situation. New York seemed to have enough depth, versatility and balance to run through the East and potentially upset the Celtics if Randle was available.

Nevertheless, the Knicks are young and have the window to continue with this roster moving forward while they continue making marginal upgrades as they have done over the past two offseason. The talent in the 2024 trade and free agency market doesn't seem as lucrative, either, so New York should retain this core.

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