What Julius Randle's season-ending surgery means for the injury-ravaged Knicks

Miami Heat v New York Knicks
Miami Heat v New York Knicks / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

With seven games left before the start of the 2024 NBA playoffs, the New York Knicks have received a worst-case scenario update on one of their stars. According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, All-NBA forward Julius Randle is set to undergo season-ending surgery on his right shoulder.

Randle has not played since Jan 27, missing 29 games in that time. The Knicks have been treading water ever since, going 15–14 in that time. Thankfully for NY, they are far from the only Eastern Conference dealing with adversity, so they've been able to maintain a top-five seed, and remain just two and a half games back of the second seed.

Knicks' Julius Randle to have season-ending surgery

The initial plan for Randle was to rehabilitate his shoulder in hopes of making a return for the postseason. Roughly 10 weeks later, and it has become clear that the initial plan is no longer a viable option.

Over 46 games this season, Randle has averaged 24.0 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 5.0 assists. His absence has and will continue to be felt, and during a season where the East may be as open as ever, this could not come at a worse time for Randle and the Knicks.

Prior to Randle's injury, the Knicks were among the league's top contenders after acquiring winger OG Anunoby from the Toronto Raptors. In the 14 games that Randle and Anunoby played together, the Knicks were a strong 12-2, looking like a powerhouse in the Eastern Conference. The Knicks now face more uncertainty than ever after losing Randle and Anunoby, who also continues to miss time with a rather unspecific elbow injury.

Currently sitting fifth in the East, the Knicks would matchup against Paolo Banchero and the Orlando Magic if the season were to end today. The two squads have faced off a total of four times so far this season and the Magic have won the regular season series three games to one.

Randle is expected to make a full recovery and is expected to be ready to go around the start of next season.