The Los Angeles Lakers will head into summer following the worst season in franchise history, but there’s reason for optimism due to the young core group of players that’s in place.
Julius Randle was one of those few bright spots after completing his first full season in the league by averaging a double-double with 11.3 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. Randle notched a team-best 34 double-doubles, including his first career triple-double.
The 21-year-old was one of 11 players in the NBA with at least 34 point/rebound double-doubles. He was also one of only nine players in the league who averaged a double-double, and did so in the fewest minutes played (28.2) of anyone in the group.
With all that in mind, Randle recently voiced much uncertainty about whether he would play for the Lakers’ summer league team for a third straight year.
“I’m not sure. I feel like I probably wouldn’t play,” Randle said. “I want to get better and work on my game. Especially with Luke coming in, it’s important to get that chemistry going as a team and establishing how we wanted to play. Whenever that time comes, we’ll cross that bridge.”
Randle also stated that he wants to further hone in his game in similar fashion to Golden State Warriors All-Star forward Draymond Green in order to maximize his effectiveness in new head coach Luke Walton‘s offensive game plan.
It may be a stretch to compare Randle to Green, but this clearly shows that the Lakers’ forward has a strong desire to get better. If he hopes to make that comparison come to fruition, he will first have to work on improving his ball handling, outside shooting, and decision-making.
Although Randle is currently leaning toward keeping himself out of the 2016 summer league, much could change over the next two months before it gets underway from July 8-18.
Bob Garcia IV
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