The Los Angeles Lakers have quickly picked up their level of activity that spearheaded with the arrival of All-Star forward LeBron James.
This has shifted the focus to building the rest of the roster around James ahead of next season, which has brought into the picture restricted free agent Julius Randle. According to Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports, the Lakers have yet to place an offer on Randel at this point in time in free agency.
Sources: Lakers restricted free agent Julius Randle hasn’t yet received an offer from L.A., but has excitement for arrival of LeBron James. Randle’s representatives and the Lakers are expected to speak Monday, hopeful of potential offer to retain him.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 2, 2018
The lack of a contract offer shouldn’t be surprising given that Los Angeles had their attention directly on landing James first as he was the big fish in the free agent market. Now that he is aboard the Lakers can now shift their eyes toward the possibility of re-signing Randle to a new deal.
The team doesn’t look to have any strong competitors for the 23-year-old’s services as the other possible interested teams have made use of their salary cap space with the Dallas Mavericks signing former All-Star center DeAndre Jordan and the Phoenix Suns inking a deal with veteran forward Trevor Ariza. This has put the Lakers in the in the driver seat in terms of determining how much they are willing to offer Randle.
There is now a clear desire to return to the fold with James set to be a member of the team for the long haul on a four-year, $154 million deal. It may simply come down to how willing he is to re-sign with Los Angeles with the four-time league MVP leading the charge.
Randle is coming off his most productive campaign where he averaged a career-high 16.1 points on a career-best 55.8 percent shooting along with 8.0 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per contests while playing 82 games with 49 starts. He was the only player in the league to average at least 16.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 2.5 assists while shooting at 55.5 percent from the field.
Bob Garcia IV
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