This trade facilitates a couple of feel-good reunions. Tim Hardaway Jr. started his career with the New York Knicks, while Julius Randle makes a return to his original team with the Los Angeles Lakers
That’s fun. It also makes sense for all of the teams involved here. The Knicks have to be feeling buyer’s remorse after offering Julius Randle an annual contract of $26.1 million.
Hardaway Jr. did not live up to that billing this year. Here, they acquire two smaller, more moveable contracts and a first-round pick in exchange for the power forward.
One man’s trash, some say, is another man’s treasure. Calling Julius Randle trash is crass and frankly, quite unfair. In fact, Randle was voted the league’s Most Improved Player in 2020-21. The Lakers will be hoping he can get some of that magic back if they acquire him this summer.
Alternatively, they could package Westbrook’s expiring deal with the draft picks they get to land another star.
Whatever they do this summer, it’s hard to imagine how it could go any worse than the decisions they made heading into 2021-22.