The Los Angeles Lakers were fortunate enough to have Kentucky’s Julius Randle fall in their laps with the seventh overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft. As a result, the team was able to bring in a promising power forward to help soften the blow of losing two-time NBA champion Pau Gasol in free agency while also providing hope for the future.
On Thursday, new Lakers head coach Byron Scott made an appearance on the Dan Patrick Show and talked about a number of different topics. Randle came up in the conversation with Scott comparing the rookie forward to Zach Randolph of the Memphis Grizzlies:
“I know the young kid is very gifted, offensively. He rebounds the ball, he can score in the post. He’s probably got about 15-foot range, handle the ball extremely well for a big man. Pretty athletic. I look at him as Zach Randolph, but more athletic.
“And I think in a few years he’s going to be a monster once he really learns what the NBA is all about and that’s what I’m looking forward to.”
With Kevin Love apparently headed to Cleveland and little chance of the Lakers landing another superstar via trade, the team will likely put a lot of effort into developing Randle moving forward.
It’s the start of a new era for the Lakers with developing young players being unfamiliar territory for the franchise. Not since 2005 with Andrew Bynum has this team had a promising young lottery pick to develop.
Scott appears to like what he sees in the Kentucky standout. The question now is how Randle fits in the rotation and how much time will he see on the floor in his rookie season.
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