Most Likely Landing Spots for Julius Randle in NBA Free Agency
Cover Photo: Getty Images
The New Orleans Pelicans have already had a busier offseason than most NBA teams will, and it's not even July 1. After trading away a player that was their franchise cornerstone over the weekend, the Pelicans are expected to lose another frontcourt player in Julius Randle, who declined his player option on Sunday, making him an unrestricted free agent.
While Randle could potentially return to New Orleans, it's far from guaranteed. With that in mind, let's take a look at the most likely landing sports for the former Kentucky Wildcats' star.
5. New Orleans Pelicans
The Pelicans are putting together quite the impressive rebuild after trading away Anthony Davis, the best player in franchise history. With young talent, loads of draft picks and Jrue Holiday in house, the Pelicans hanging onto Randle, who enjoyed a career year last season, could potentially put them in the playoff conversation. Randle will demand a max contract or close to it, not because he deserves it, but because that's just the reality of today's NBA. If he wants to be a centerpiece of the rebuild and continue playing in the place where his career flourished greatest, then New Orleans is where he'll stay.
4. Los Angeles Clippers
The Los Angeles Clippers, like every other team on this list, will attempt to go big-game hunting this summer. But there are only so many stars and there is only so much salary cap space. The Clippers are short of having two max contract spots available, but still have enough for one along with a good-sized contract to pair with it. If the Clippers miss out on Kawhi Leonard or all of the other top-tier free agents, signing Randle could be next on their list. If the Clips can convince him to take less than a max, they could offer to pair him with a likely All-Star. A lot of moving parts, but they're definitely in the running.
3. New York Knicks
Similar to the Clippers, the New York Knicks have bigger fish to fry this summer. They have been the presumed favorites to sign Kevin Durant for months now, but with his Achilles injury, there's no telling where that leaves things. Even if Durant does sign with New York, his injury might deter players like Kawhi or Kyrie Irving from wanting to be the second star on the Knicks. Randle could be a great complimentary piece that will come at a cheaper price than those other guys, and would be a great fit alongside the team's young center Mitchell Robinson.
2. Brooklyn Nets
The Brooklyn Nets are reportedly the favorites to land Kyrie, and if that happens, they most likely will let D'Angelo Russell walk. That would ultimately free up enough cap space for two max deals, meaning Brooklyn could look to Randle. They need frontcourt help and adding the big would likely make them contenders in the Eastern Conference.
1. Dallas Mavericks
The Dallas Mavericks are a team no one is really talking about in free agency, but they will have lots of money to potentially spend this summer. Randle played his high school ball in Texas and could be a solid fit on a young Mavs team in dire need of frontcourt help. Pairing him and Kristaps Porzingis on the front line would create some scary offensive sets and mismatches for the Mavs, making them the most likely landing spot for Randle once free agency begins.
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David Kaestle is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, David also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username davekaestle. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.