Los Angeles Lakers Rumors: Julius Randle Fully Healed, Hurts Kevin Love Free Agency Chances?
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Cleveland Cavaliers F Kevin Love. (Photo : Getty Images)
The Los Angeles Lakers selected Kentucky power forward Julius Randle with the seventh overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft last season, which was easy to forget because he suffered a broken leg early in the year.
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He was compared to Zach Randolph coming out of college, which is a blessing and a curse. The comparison is a nod to Randle’s offensive talents, but also to a perceived lack of athleticism. Defensively, not much is expected from Randle, which could complicate a pursuit of Kevin Love.
“I believe I am [100 percent]. The last time I checked probably about a month ago, the bone was 95 percent healed. I feel great,” Randle said. That’s good news, because it means the Lakers will have their big draft pick next year on the court. But having Randle and Love may not be feasible.
First, neither Randle nor Love provides rim protection, so while Randle’s post game and Love’s stretch shooting complement each other, teams will be able to score at will down low.
In addition, the Lakers have the No. 2 pick in the draft, which features two big men atop most board. They are Duke center Jahlil Okafor and Kentucky F/C Karl-Anthony Towns, two excellent options that would likely relegate Randle, a promising lottery pick, to a bench role.
Randle said he would support any pick the Lakers make, and said it would be exciting to play with Towns, a fellow Wildcat, but he didn’t call for Towns to be the pick.
“I know the guys will make the choice that’s right for the team and what’s best for the team,” Randle said. “So I’ll support it 100 percent.”
Randle is likely hoping the Lakers decide to take point guard Emmanuel Mudiay or combo guard D’Angelo Russell with the No. 2 pick, so that his path to playing time remains clear.[Orange County Register]
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