The New York Knicks will be without Julius Randle when they travel down to D.C. to play the Washington Wizards.
Julius Randle is the engine that makes the New York Knicks go, but they will have to find someone else to fill that role on Saturday. According to Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau, Randle’s absence will open up opportunities for Obi Toppin and Kevin Knox to get burn.
Julius Randle (personal reasons) won't play in tomorrow's preseason game and wasn't at practice today. Tom Thibodeau said Obi Toppin and Kevin Knox will pick up his minutes. #knicks
— Zach Braziller (@NYPost_Brazille) October 8, 2021
There is no need to speculate on Randle’s reasons for missing this game. After all, it’s only preseason and as Thibs mentions, the Knicks have young guys to pick up the slack.
Toppin, 23, showed flashes during his rookie season, but he was mostly glued to the bench as Randle cruised to All-NBA Second Team. This preseason game is a chance for Toppin to show what he can do with an opportunity, albeit a small one.
As for Knox, he’s become the forgotten man on this roster. He struggled to work his way into Thibodeau’s rotations last year and his path to playing time is going to be even tougher this year.
If nothing else, the extra minutes give the Knicks a chance to showcase Knox to potential suitors. As a former lottery pick, someone is sure to take a chance on Knox. His sweet shooting stroke and length make him an enticing reclamation project for the right team.
The Knicks will take on the Washington Wizards in D.C. on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET. Mitchell Robinson will also miss the game as he continues his recovery from a foot injury.