If Randle would have waited until 2022, when his contract expired, he would have been eligible for a contract extension worth roughly $200 million.
Instead, Randle decided to sign a four-year, $117 million deal, locking in his financial stability and giving the Knicks financial flexibility moving forward.
“The money was one thing, but for me, it was more about the situation as far as my happiness, the basketball situation, my family, just being stable and being in New York and really just continuing to build this thing up,” Randle said Friday. “When I signed here two years ago, this was my vision, to be able to lock in something long term and build something from the ground up. That’s what we’re doing. All hands on deck.”
Randle enjoyed a career-best season with the Knicks in 2020-21, earning the NBA’s Most Improved Player award. He averaged 24.1 points, 10.2 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game — all career highs — while shooting 41.1% from deep. Randle made nearly as many 3-pointers last season (160) as he did in the previous five seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans Pelicans and his first year with New York (168).
The 26-year-old Randle said he went back and forth on whether he wanted to wait it out but ultimately decided he wanted to lock up his future as soon as possible.
“At the end of the day, I’ve had stops along the way in my career where I haven’t been happy playing,” Randle said. “I understand both sides of it and how hard this game could be and how hard it can be being on a team where the chemistry’s not right and it’s tough showing up to your job every night.
“And for me, I truly enjoy showing up to my job every day, whether it was practice, whether it was flying, whether it was playing a game, whatever it was. I truly enjoy it, and I’m happy being a Knick.”
Randle said he is more than willing to help the Knicks try to land other free agents in the future, but for now, his focus is on getting better and winning.
“I don’t think there’s a better place to win a championship than here,” Randle said. “I wanted to be a part of that, and I felt like I could help be a part of that. And I thought with me signing that extension, it could help [Knicks president Leon Rose] and those other guys get pieces and continue to build the team so we could have that opportunity.”