The 24-year-old forward averaged a career-high 21.4 points, along with 8.7 rebounds, in 73 games with the Pelicans in 2018-19.
The Knicks could have a fallback plan if they miss out on stars this summer.
New York and forward Julius Randle “have mutual interest,” according to a report from ESPN’s The Undefeated, which cites unidentified league sources. Randle reportedly opted out of his contract with the Pelicans earlier this month.
The 24-year-old forward averaged a career-high 21.4 points, along with 8.7 rebounds, in 73 games with the Pelicans in 2018-19. He shot 52.4% from the field and 34.4% from 3-point range.
“It just shows opportunity and preparation,” Randle said about his season, via NOLA.com. “Just years of preparation and hard work and finally coming and getting my opportunity, I was able to make a jump. So, I expect that next year, as well, out of myself. My job is just to prepare.”
Randle spent the first four seasons of his career with the Lakers before signing with the Pelicans in July 2018.
“You’ve just got to look at every situation,” Randle said about free agency in April. “I don’t know what the situation will look like. I thoroughly enjoyed my time here. Would love to be back. But, like I said, you have to look at every situation, look at options, and do what’s best for you and your family and your career at the moment.”
The Knicks are hoping to have a busy offseason as they’ll reportedly pursue multiple top players. They’ve been linked to Kawhi Leonard, Kemba Walker, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant — who ruptured his Achilles during Game 5 of the NBA Finals. But, they may not be a front-runner to sign any of them.
New York also took former Duke star RJ Barrett with the No. 3 pick in the 2019 draft last week.
“I just want to play,” Barrett said at NBA Draft Media Day, via Forbes. “So, whatever happens, happens. And if I play with a great player like KD or just play with the guys on the team right now, I don’t even care.”
The Knicks finished the season with a 17-65 record. They last made the playoffs in 2012-13.