The Cavaliers cannot take a risk on New York Knicks forward Julius Randle
Julius Randle broke out on the New York Knicks in the 2020-21 season after his time with the Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans, winning Most Improved Player and earning his first All-Star appearance.
Secondly, the 28-year-old forward has only missed a handful of games most seasons, often earning the moniker of an Iron Man for his resilience and constant fitness.
After these accolades, though, Randle's career has been a mix of confusing lows and highs, especially in the postseason. Since his MIP season, Randle has never averaged fewer than 20 points in a regular season, but both of his playoff appearances after this year showed his averages and efficiency severely drop off. In the 2022-23 regular season, Randle scored a career high 25.1 points and grabbed 10 rebounds per night, only to fall to 16.6 points and 8.3 rebounds in his 10 postseason games.
With his downtrodden season and the Knicks' desire to win now, Randle could easily end up in trade talks by the deadline. He will be under contract until 2025 when he has a $29.4 million player option to extend his deal into his age 31 season. Randle's contract is not the most team-friendly, but it is far from unmanageable for a trade to get done.
If the Knicks call the Cavaliers for a trade, they are probably eyeing a Donovan Mitchell homecoming, but even in a multi-team trade for Allen, the Cavs should not consider bringing in Randle.
Randle's inconsistency goes beyond the playoffs far too often to take the risk. Throughout the first month of the season, Randle shot below 40 percent from the field, including a sub 30 percent 3-point accuracy. He has brought himself back up to fair shooting splits, but the Cavaliers are already struggling to find a real sense of consistency on offense. Similarly to Vucevic, Randle's shortcomings only serve to add to Cleveland's current biggest flaws. Whether it be regular season or playoff inconsistency, Randle is not the right choice for the long-term Cavaliers frontcourt.
Finding the right Jarrett Allen trade is not a simple task for Cleveland's front office, but it could prove to be the best path forward for the Cavaliers this season. With Mobley continually getting better every game, his transition to center may come sooner than expected. Making the wrong deal would halt any growing momentum Mobley or the Cavaliers have found this season and would cause even more heartbreak in an already tricky regular season.