Julius Randle of the Knicks looks to take a shot during...

Julius Randle of the Knicks looks to take a shot during the second quarter against Russell Westbrook of the Rockets at Madison Square Garden on March 2. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Julius Randle returns to the Knicks not only as the leading scorer, but also the highest-paid player on the team. But he also occupies the same spot in the lineup as the player whom the Knicks drafted with the No. 8 overall pick, Obi Toppin.

But speaking via Zoom Friday afternoon, he shrugged off the notion that he and Toppin can’t coexist in the Knicks' lineup.

"He’s an athletic player from what I know," Randle said. "I haven’t seen much of him. But he can shoot it and run the floor. So I think we’ll be able to complement each other very well. The game is positionless now. To have many guys to be versatile and do many things is great."

While power forward has been the position for both of them, Randle added, "That’ll be up to coach. I’ve played the five before though." The Knicks might be crowded at that spot, too, with Mitchell Robinson returning and the addition of Nerlens Noel.

Randle should be familiar with this since he was one of four power forwards the Knicks signed last summer.

"It’s an adjustment anywhere you go," he said. "I don’t know if it’s New York or anywhere else but you learn every year. I talked to coach and the minute you stop learning you stop playing. I don’t care if it’s New Orleans or Los Angeles, I learn something every year regardless."

Stretch Mitch

You might have heard this before, but Robinson said he’s hoping to add an outside shot to his arsenal this season. He has yet to attempt a three-point field goal in his two seasons, but there were plenty of workout videos this offseason showing him on the perimeter, handling the ball and firing in threes.

"Since it was a long offseason, basically what I did this summer was to work on a jump shot [and] did a lot of running," he said. "I want to be in better shape this season to help my team out, better than we did last year. I did a lot of running, got a lot of shots up, just working on my game.

"It’s my year three so I’m trying to add more stuff to my game, help our team win, be more of a threat on the offensive side. Me coming out shooting threes isn’t the only thing I want to do but it helps us out."


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