Lonzo Ball admits that Julius Randle’s exit ‘hurt’
Majority of Los Angeles Lakers fans loved having Julius Randle on the team, so it follows to say that a great number of Purple and Gold supporters grimaced when they learned that the former Kentucky Wildcat had signed with the New Orleans Pelicans back in July. And you know someone else who got sad with Randle’s departure? Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball.
During a recent episode of “Ball in the Family,” the second overall pick of last year’s draft had his reaction to news of Randle inking a deal with the Pelicans captured (h/t Jacob Rude of Lonzo Wire).
Lonzo – Damn. That one hurt a little bit.
Li’Angelo – That’s your homie?
Lonzo – (nods)
At that moment, Lonzo Ball got served with another piece of reality in the pros: that there is a lot you can’t control in the NBA. As much as Ball wanted Julius Randle to be around as his teammate, the Lakers obviously didn’t want to pay the power forward enough money that would have made him stay. The Lakers extended a qualifying offer worth $5.56 million to Randle, but later rescinded it, paving the way for the big man to join New Orleans.
However, Randle’s departure opened up some financial leg room for the Lakers to give Ball a shiny new teammate in the form of four-time league MVP LeBron James.
Ball does not have to be extremely sad, though, as the Lakers and the Pelicans will meet four times in the next regular season.
Last season, the Lakers scored 105.9 points per 100 possessions that Ball and Randle were both on the floor.