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Knicks’ Julius Randle is all cool with the Pelicans, but he clearly still has beef with the Lakers

Julius Randle, Knicks

New York Knicks big man Julius Randle won’t have extra motivation on Friday when the Knicks take on his former team, the New Orleans Pelicans. Randle says the Pelicans aren’t the Los Angeles Lakers, the team he was drafted by and clearly still has some beef with.

Randle played four seasons with the Lakers. Ramona Shelburne of ESPN reported during the summer of 2018 Randle asked to be renounced by the Lakers once it became clear his role would dramatically change and the team wasn’t interested in making a long-term commitment to him.

The Lakers signed LeBron James last offseason, along with Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson and Michael Beasley.

Randle signed a three-year, $63 million deal with the Knicks this summer in free agency. Last season with the Pelicans, the talented lefty averaged 21.4 points and 8.7 rebounds while shooting 52.4 percent from the field, 34.4 percent from beyond the arc and 73.1 percent from the free-throw line.

Randle, 24, figures to have a high usage rate on the Knicks since New York doesn’t have a clear No. 1 option on offense.

The Knicks and Lakers will face off twice this season, once in LA and the other time in New York. Look for Randle to have big games in those contests.