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Report: Hornets, Knicks have engaged in Julius Randle trade talks

New York Knicks v Charlotte Hornets

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - JANUARY 28: Julius Randle #30 of the New York Knicks during the second quarter of their game against the Charlotte Hornets at Spectrum Center on January 28, 2020 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)

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Julius Randle was the one player the Knicks signed this summer with a fully guaranteed contract for next season — he was their keeper. Except, within a couple of months of the season starting there were rumors they may not keep him.

Now the Hornets have reached out the Knicks and talked about a possible Randle trade before Thursday’s deadline, reports Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer.

For Charlotte, Randle raises the team’s floor because he can get buckets, and the 25th ranked offense in the NBA could use that.

Most of the trade talk around the Knicks have centered on Marcus Morris (who doesn’t want a trade because he expects to get a long-term deal with the Knicks this summer). Randle may not have as much trade value but he has some, averaging 18.9 points per game, and he is the Knicks leading rebounder at 9.5 per night.

How to construct a trade that makes sense for both teams is harder. The numbers work if Charlotte sends out Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Miles Bridges, plus a second-round pick, but does that help the Knicks build for the future. No way the Hornets throw PJ Washington into the mix, and besides that who would New York want?

Teams talk a lot this time of year and little comes of it, this is more likely to be in the majority of talks that do not lead to a deal. But the sides are talking.