Randolph, a third-year LSU product drafted by the the Golden State Warriors before being included in last summer's David Lee sign-and-trade, has hardly played under Mike D'Antoni in New York, appearing in just 14 games for a total of 110 minutes this season. That's a far cry from what Randolph, fans and (one could assume) Knicks president Donnie Walsh expected. Randolph was the No. 14 pick in 2008, and after a hyped rookie season was considered to be a player that could go places. He's a multi-talented, long forward with high defensive potential.
Of course, high defensive potential has never held particular significance on D'Antoni teams, and with Amar'e Stoudemire, Ronny Turiaf and the combination of undersized Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari and Bill Walker holding down the power forward and center spots, Randolph has been left in the lurch. Isola reports that Randolph's agent Bill Duffy attended the Knicks' loss to the Sacramento Kings on Friday night, and spoke to Walsh about the forward's future.
Walsh wouldn't comment, but Isola reports that Duffy detailed his client's wishes to be traded somewhere he can play minutes in advance of free agent in 2012. Duffy also indicated that the sooner a trade goes down, the better (which is obvious but still deserves to be said).
Randolph has been mentioned in rumors revolving around the Minnesota Timberwolves, with a first-round pick said to be in play for the Knicks. The Wolves have a wealth of picks, including Utah's 2011 pick and a top-14 protected 2011 Grizzlies pick. The Wolves will almost assuredly keep their own pick this season, meaning Minnesota will owe its 2012 first-round pick (completely unprotected) to the L.A. Clippers. As such, the Wolves can't trade their own 2011, 2012 or 2013 pick. That's fine, because either the Grizzly or Jazz pick would seem to make the most sense in a deal for Randolph anyway.
As for where that pick would end up: The Knicks could been attempting to put together a package for Carmelo Anthony. The New Jersey Nets would still have the better package in any 'Melo offer, but if Anthony refuses to sign an extension with the Nets, thus canceling a deal, the Knicks will need to put together a package worth of the Nuggets' interest. Another first-round pick would be a good start.
Barring that, the Knicks could try to flip Randolph for a rotation player on a small or expiring contract. A defensive center, back-up point guard and (as always) shooter could be useful to New York's playoff run.