The Los Angeles Lakers add a frontcourt player with their seventh overall pick by selecting Julius Randle out of Kentucky. They were looking to address their point guard needs first, but Marcus Smart and Dante Exum were taken by the Boston Celtics and Utah Jazz respectively.
Julius Randle puts the word “power” in power forward. He has robust strength in the paint. At 6’9”, 250 pounds, Randle can bang in the post and finish creatively around the rim. He is very dangerous on pick and roll and pick and pop plays. He is able to stretch the floor which could give the Lakers excellent spacing.
Randle has had a previous injury to his foot, but Mitch Kupchak brushed off Randle’s injury history. The Lakers believe he would be a great fit, and his foot injury shouldn’t be an issue.
Since Randle is a little undersized for a power forward, he may struggle to create offense against more athletic fours. Another weakness is his inconsistent shooting. His percentages are low, and he lacks a three-point shot. However, he may still be a good complimentary player for Pau Gasol in the frontcourt if Gasol chooses to re-sign with Los Angeles. Drafting Randle, however, is not expected to affect Gasol’s choice nor would it affect Jordan Hill’s tenure with the Lakers.
The Lakers were trying to look to trade their seventh pick prior to the draft, but they will now keep it. The Lakers had the option to pick Noah Vonleh, but they said that they picked “the best player available.” Nevertheless, this is a solid pick for the Los Angeles Lakers.
“I couldn't be more blessed or fortunate to go to an organization like the Lakers," says Randle.