Julius Randle
Photo: Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images.

Julius Randle has been improving every season since being traded by the Los Angeles Lakers in 2018. The 26-year-old forward, who is now a star of the New York Knicks, has stepped up his game even more this season.

He is averaging career-high 23.9 points, 10.3 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game this year. Most recently, he had 31 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists in a loss to the Lakers. According to his former teammate Anthony Davis, Randle is an MVP candidate.

“Julius, that’s my guy,” Davis said after the Lakers defeated the Knicks in overtime. “Played with in New Orleans. He’s definitely developed his game with shooting ability and off the dribble.

“The last whole possession I just had to lock in defensively and make sure that he wasn’t going to score and help the team. I feel like I made him hit the three with my contest at the end. He shot a little higher than normal.

“But I mean he’s been playing like this all year. I think he’s an MVP kind of candidate. He for sure should win most improved. What he’s doing got his team in the playoffs right now for a team who hasn’t been in the playoffs for a while. He’s playing his ass off and you can do nothing but respect it.”