The Los Angeles Lakers are in one of the most interesting spots among all NBA teams, with that Julius Randle is in one of the interesting spots in his young NBA career. The 4th year player out of Kentucky is set to be a restricted free agent this offseason, leading to many questions regarding where and for whom he will be playing for.
The Lakers are in a tough position heading into the final stretch of this NBA season. The current team they have is a mix of young exciting players and veterans who will probably not be on the team next season. They will have the cap room to sign high quality free agents this offseason, reports indicate that they could land the likes of Paul George and LeBron James. That, along with the emergence of first round pick PF Kyle Kuzma, will most certainly push Randle out of Los Angeles. I think that Randle is the most significant free agent this offseason because of his ability to be an impact player and that he will be easy to acquire. While his numbers may not be fantastic, I believe that in the right situation he can reach an All-Star level of play. This season he is averaging 15.1 PPG, 7.6 REB, and is shooting 56% from the field. He also boasts a 19.7 player efficiency rating.
These numbers are incredibly better than his first few seasons that did not fit the specific mold that the Lakers tried to put on him when he was drafted. The numbers will only expand given the right situation in which he has a very good point guard and is the 1A or 1B scoring option. He will bring an immediate impact to any team that signs him. He’s showed that his hard-nosed, gritty type of play can be successful in a league with an increasing emphasis on the 3pt shot, which is one of the toughest things to do considering the situation the league is in. With an increased influx of cash coming into the league, there will be a few teams interested in acquiring the 23-year old. His ability to be an immediate impact with an interesting style of basketball make him one of the few free agents to be on the lookout for.
Check out one of Randle’s highlights from 3/3/18: