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Nick Young thinks Julius Randle has earned contract in the summer

Golden State Warriors marksman Nick Young praised the work of his former teammate, Julius Randle, who’s made a quality leap from an athletic forward with a high ceiling to one blossoming into his game.

“I think this summer’s going to be good for him,” said Young, according to Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times. “When you know what somebody’s been going through and you see the adversity he’s going through — he’s a good dude — when you overcome all that, can’t help but cheer for him. When you hear the talks of being traded, they want somebody else, you don’t feel like you’re part of the team. He stayed focused.”

Randle has made strides every season since coming into the league, but this 2017-18 campaign, he’s made the most important of them all and at an ideal time — posting 16.3 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game while shooting a blistering 56.3 percent from the field — nearly eight percent better than his previous career-best.

“He was getting ready,” said Young of Randle’s progress. “He lost a lot of weight. In the weight room. He stayed with it. You can’t knock the man. They gotta pay him. Somebody’s gotta pay him.”

Randle was thought to be a no-brainer to leave the Lakers this summer, due to the organization’s willingness to reserve cap space for two major free agents in the offseason — but his play in this 2017-18 season has given them something to ponder, likely in line to become a restricted free agent if the team chooses to make room for him on the roster.

Los Angeles could also choose to match any incoming offers for Randle, but the likes of the Dallas Mavericks will be aggressive bidders for his services, whether it is this summer or the next.