Julius Randle was a star at Kentucky, but he never really had to work for it. De’Aaron Fox is a young player with the same skills and athleticism as Julius, who has been on his own journey thus far in New York City. The big difference? Julius showed up from high school ready-made to be an NBA star, while Fox struggled through some growing pains before now starring for the Sacramento Kings

De’Aaron Fox is no more prepared to withstand the New York pressure than Julius Randle proved to be. De’Aaron Fox has been struggling with turnovers and shooting woes, while Julius Randle has been playing well on both ends of the floor. Read more in detail here: de’aaron fox stats.

De'Aaron Fox Is No More Prepared to Withstand the New York Pressure than Julius Randle Proved to Be

The Sacramento Kings may have reconsidered (again) their decision to trade point guard De’Aaron Fox. According to rumors a few weeks ago, the club was forming a bond with Fox and second-year guard Tyrese Haliburton. The fifth-year point guard has been linked to the New York Knicks in a blockbuster deal that would also include reigning NBA Most Improved Player Julius Randle.

The Knicks are in serious need of backcourt assistance, and Randle is also suffering. What about Sacramento? Given that the franchise hasn’t had anything approaching a consistent strategy in more than a decade, your guess is as good as anyone’s.

Randle’s connection with New York gradually deteriorated. But, given that Fox has been in zero key late-season games in his NBA career (checks notes), will the Manhattan pressure cooker climate destroy him as it did Randle?

In Sacramento, De’Aaron Fox isn’t making much progress.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6I24T H0REY

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During his first four seasons with the Kings, De’Aaron Fox progressively improved, albeit his three-point shooting did not. Despite this, he improved from 11.6 points and 4.4 assists per game as a rookie to 25.2 points and 7.2 assists per game last season.

This season, the former Kentucky Wildcat took a huge step back in the first year of the maximum agreement he signed in November 2020.

Fox isn’t hitting his shots as effectively as he used to from everywhere on the floor. His percentage dropped two points, from 53.9 percent to 51.5 percent. This season, his 3-point shooting percentage went from a below-average 32.2 percent to a please-stop-shooting-those 24.8 percent (in fairness, his volume dropped from 5.5 to 3.7 attempts a night).

The 24-year-old seems to have contracted the same disease that has afflicted almost every Sacramento lottery selection in the previous decade. In 2017, DeMarcus Cousins was the team’s final All-Star. He escaped the Kings, but since then he’s had nothing but terrible luck. In 2018, the club chose Marvin Bagley III over Trae Young and Luka Doni. Maybe not an airball, but certainly not a slam dunk.

In Sacramento, bad behaviors have become the norm. The team isn’t good, the playoffs are out of reach, and the national media only pays attention to the Kings long enough to mock them.

It doesn’t seem to be a good place for a young athlete to be ready for the New York spotlight.

Julius Randle is said to be on his way out of the Knicks.

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Julius Randle, like De’Aaron Fox, was a one-and-done basketball player at Kentucky. In addition, he’s enjoying his least productive season in his eight-year career.

Randle was an All-NBA player in 2020–21, averaging 24.1 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 6.0 assists per game while shooting 47.4% from two-point range and 41.1 percent on 5.5 deep attempts a night.

This season, his range diminished. The 27-year-old hits just 30.3 percent of his shots from outside the arc on 5.3 tries a game, while he shoots 46.4 percent inside the arc.

It’s not only his jump shooting that’s let him down. This season, Randle is shooting at a lower percentage from all areas of the court. The mid-range is where the drop-off is most noticeable. From 43.4 percent from 10 to 16 feet and 41.4 percent on deep twos, he’s now at 36.1 percent and 33.6 percent, respectively.

It’s a shambles in Manhattan, especially with the supporters turning against Randle and his retaliation.

The Knicks are interested in Fox, according to Brian Windhorst of The Hoop Collective podcast.

“This has been reported elsewhere,” Windhorst added, “but I’ve also heard that the Knicks are interested in De’Aaron Fox.” “Julius Randle is the player who makes the most sense in that trade.”

For trading reasons, the wages aren’t exactly right. In the first year of a five-year, $163 million pact, Fox’s cap amount is $28.1 million. Randle earns $19.8 million per year. His four-year, $117.1 million contract doesn’t start until the next season.

The Knicks need additional salary to make the deal work since they are above the salary limit. On paper, Kemba Walker ($8.7 million) is a point guard replacement for the Kings.

Walker is at least one of the reasons the Knicks are considering this move.

De’Aaron Fox does not take Julius Randle’s position, but he does solve an issue.

There are reports of a rumored De'Aaron Fox-for-Julius Randle trade, but is the Sacramento Kings star isn't any more prepared for the New York Knicks fan base than Randle has been.

There are reports of a rumored De'Aaron Fox-for-Julius Randle trade, but is the Sacramento Kings star isn't any more prepared for the New York Knicks fan base than Randle has been. There have been rumors of a De’Aaron Fox-for-Julius Randle deal, but Fox isn’t any more prepared for the New York Knicks fan base than Randle has been. | Getty Images/Thearon W. Henderson

Kemba Walker returned off a 10-game benching in December with a fury. He averaged 31.3 points in his first three games back in the lineup. His knees then reminded him that he was 31 years old and severely damaged.

Because of a bad knee, he missed nine games, and since his return on Jan. 18, the former All-Star has been terrible. Walker averaged 6.7 points on 35.4 percent shooting in seven starts. In his past two games, he has gone scoreless in 34 minutes.

If the Knicks trade Julius Randle for De’Aaron Fox, second-year player Obi Toppin seems to be a ready-made replacement. For the time being, he’s a fan favorite, and his per-36-minutes figures are encouraging.

However, such figures are based on just 15.7 minutes each game. The gaudy adjusted statistics are sometimes depressed by increased volume.

Toppin makes 71.3 percent of his shots at the rim, which is about 58 percent. Outside of that range, he’s not the same danger Randle was, and he’s just 19-of-78 (24.4 percent) from deep.

Sacramento is 19–35 overall, 13th in the Western Conference, and three games shy of the last play-in place. New York has dropped seven of its last nine games, falling to 24–28 in the Eastern Conference and 1.5 games behind the 10th-place Atlanta Hawks.

A De’Aaron Fox-for-Julius Randle swap may generate some interest. However, whereas Randle might vanish into the obscurity of Northern California, Fox may struggle to cope with the glaring lights of Broadway.

Basketball Reference provided the statistics. Spotrac provided contract details.

RELATED: The New York Knicks Should Consider Trading Julius Randle Before the NBA Trade Deadline

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