julius randle
Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Julius Randle’s rise to superstardom continues. The Knicks forward was named Eastern Conference Player of the Month for the first time.

The NBA is recognizing Julius Randle for his monster April with Eastern Conference Player of the Month honors. The All-Star led the New York Knicks to an 11-4 record while averaging 27.1 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 6.3 assists per game.

Carmelo Anthony was the last Knick to win the Eastern Conference Player of the Month (January 2014). He accomplished this feat three times as a Knick. It’s fitting that Randle wins this award just one day after Melo cracked the top 10 on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Patrick Ewing won the NBA’s Player of the Month five times (before they separated it by conference).

The Knicks were in eighth place in the Eastern Conference on April 13. They are now holding a 1.5 game lead on fourth place and home-court advantage in the first round.

Randle’s regular-season accolades won’t stop with this one. He is an overwhelming favorite to win Most Improved Player, he could wind up in the top five of MVP voting, and he has a legitimate chance at cracking First Team All-NBA.

There’s no limit to what Randle and the Knicks can accomplish this season. Prior to the year, plenty of Knicks fans were throwing Randle’s name into the trade machine to see where they could dump him.

But now? Randle is a dominant force for the Knicks and a true star that they can build around. Granted, the Knicks might need one more alpha dog to join Randle and RJ Barrett to become a legitimate championship contender, but they are moving in the right direction.