Despite a franchise-worst 17 wins this past season, there was a glimmer of hope for the Los Angeles Lakers in the form of their young core. The team’s recent lottery selections, D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle both showed great flashes of potential.
Randle was among the league leaders in rebounding and double-doubles while Russell had a couple of outstanding scoring outings where he looked unstoppable.
Their talent was noticeable to those in charge of the USA Men’s Basketball program as both have been invited to play for the USA Select Team this summer according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical:
Sources: Lakers' D'Angelo Russell and Julius Randle invited to play for USA Select Team this summer. They'll compete against Olympic team.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) May 13, 2016
This is an excellent opportunity for both of these young players and should help them immensely in both this and future summers. The Select Team will practice and scrimmage against the Olympic Team this off-season, and it also puts them in the Team USA program where they could potentially be added to the main team in future competitions.
For both Russell and Randle, the opportunity to work with some of the NBA’s best young talent is a great chance to measure and improve themselves while working with some of the best coaches available. It can be a great confidence boost if they can thrive in that environment. It also allows them to see the work ethic and learn from other top NBA players, much like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the rest of the Olympic Team were able to see Kobe Bryant’s legendary practice schedule in 2008.
Russell and Randle represent the Lakers’ best hopes of a superstar player that is currently on the roster, and any chance to prove themselves against the best the NBA has to offer should be beneficial to both the team and the players themselves.