Sports Out West

Lakers sign first round pick Julius Randle

Photo Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday continued to fill their roster as they announced the signing of Julius Randle, who was selected with the seventh overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.

In his one season with Kentucky, Randle averaged 15.0 points and 10.4 rebounds in 40 games played. He led the nation with 24 double-doubles, which is second-most for a freshman in NCAA history only behind Kansas State’s Michael Beasley, who had 28 in the 2007-08 season. The 19-year-old earned numerous awards that included being named SEC Freshman of the Year, All-SEC First Team and SEC All-Freshman team, Newcomer of the Year award, and chosen to Third Team All-America by the AP. 

Randle also played a major part in the team’s run through the NCAA Tournament to the National Championship game against UConn. He became just the second player in Kentucky history and first in the last 56 years to record a double-double in each of the first four games leading up to the Final Four.

The delay in the contract being completed was due to Los Angeles’ attempt to maintain financial flexibility with the hopes of landing either Carmelo Anthony or LeBron James. Once both players chose to play elsewhere, the team moved quickly to begin building a roster for next season. The contract that the Lakers agreed to with the former Wildcat had already been prepared and just needed to be signed.

Randle was also able to play in his first Summer League game on Sunday against the New Orleans Pelicans as he scored 10 points on 4-of-9 shooting to go along with two rebounds in 21 minutes played.

The team currently has seven players under contract in Randle, Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Robert Sacre, Nick Young, Jordan Hill, and Jeremy Lin. They are also expected to sign their 46th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft in Jordan Clarkson, and pick up Kendall Marshall‘s team option for next season.

Watch below Randle’s dunk from his Summer League debut on Sunday:

Photo Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

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Bob Garcia IV

Bob Garcia is a sports journalist from Southern California. He was a reporter for the award-winning newspaper, The Daily Sundial, at California State University, Northridge. You can follow him on Twitter, @BGarcia90.