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Julius Randle signs with WME Sports, leaves CAA

Is there a bigger story here?

Miami Heat v New York Knicks - Game Five Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

New York Knicks star Julius Randle has parted ways with Creative Artists Agency LLC, better known as CAA. Randle has been a member of CAA since his 2014 rookie year with the Los Angeles Lakers. He now reunites with former CAA agent Andrew Thomas at William Morris Endeavors (WME). Thomas left CAA back in February 2022.

In his nine seasons in the NBA, the seventh pick in the 2014 NBA draft has racked up close to $106 million in career earnings. Randle’s career got a rough start back in 2014-15 when he broke his leg in his first NBA game, ending his season. Working his way back, the former Kentucky Wildcat played three more seasons on the Lakers, before signing with the New Orleans Pelicans. After spending one season in New Orleans, Randle would leave and sign a three-year, $63 million contract to play with the Knicks in late June, 2019.

He would have a solid 2019-20 season, but his career would really take off the following season. At age 26 and in his seventh year in the league, Randle made a leap. He’d average 24.1 points, 10.2 rebounds, six assists, and lead the NBA in minutes per game at 37.6. He also earned his first career All-Star selection, was named All-NBA Second Team, and won the Most Improved Player Award.

More importantly, the Knicks finished 41-31, earning the Eastern Conference’s fourth seed, and made the playoffs for the first time since the 2012-13 season. Unfortunately, Randle would not play his best basketball in the postseason, and the Knicks lost in five games to the fifth-seeded Atlanta Hawks.

Following the great 2020-21 season, the Knicks rewarded Randle with a four-year $117 million contract extension in August 2021. The contract also includes a 2025 player option.

The 2021-22 season was a letdown for the Knicks as they finished 37-45 and were six games out of even qualifying for the play-in tournament. Julius Randle still averaged 20 points, ten rebounds, and six assists, but there was regression from his All-NBA 2020-21 season.

After a down year, Randle looked reinvigorated and had a great 2022-23 season. The addition of Jalen Brunson helped take some pressure off him, and he averaged 25 points, ten rebounds, and four assists. His sharp play saw him return to the All-Star game and earn All-NBA Third Team honors. A great regular season turned into concern when Randle got hurt in late March and missed the last two weeks of the regular season. He would tough it out in the playoffs and have some good games, but noticeably didn’t have the same explosiveness he had all season. After getting eliminated by the Miami Heat in the second round of the playoffs, Randle would have surgery on the ankle he injured.

It’s an interesting move by Julius Randle to switch agencies before the 2023-24 season. Players switching agencies isn’t groundbreaking news, but it is notable with how close the CAA and Knicks relationship is. Leon Rose was a big-time agent at CAA for a number of years before being named President of the Knicks in March 2020. Point guard Jalen Brunson is also a part of the CAA team.

Maybe it’s something, maybe it’s nothing, time will tell.

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