Julius Randle hopeful to remain with Lakers, will consider his options
Julius Randle has endured the trials and tribulations of a challenging fourth season in the league. Having gone through a devastating season-ending surgery minute into his debut in the league and carving his way to a starting spot the next two years, the Dallas native was forced to do it once again in 2017-18 and hopes to keep L.A. as his home this summer.
“It would be tough to say no to L.A., honestly,” Randle said with a chuckle when asked how much he wants to remain a Laker, according to ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk. “It is the place that drafted me. I would love to be here. I have to do what is best for the family and hopefully they want me here as well.”
Randle found himself behind the athletic Larry Nance Jr. and splitting minutes with rookie Kyle Kuzma at power forward to start the season, slowly making the most of his chances coming off the bench to garner his rightful starting spot back.
The Los Angeles Lakers made a move at the trade deadline, shipping Jordan Clarkson and Nance to the Cleveland Cavaliers, opening up the minutes for Randle to return to a healthy 30-plus minute load as the starting power forward, an opportunity he’s grabbed firmly ever since with averages of 18.6 points and 9.2 rebounds per game, while shooting 57 percent from the floor.
Yet the dynamic frontcourt man knows this is only one of the many options available, should the Lakers renounce his rights during free agency.
“I knew I had a place in this league,” Randle adds of his play this season. “Whether it was here or not.”