The Los Angeles Lakers have high hopes that rookie Julius Randle is a star in the making with a potentially bright future ahead wearing purple and gold. Randle will likely come off the bench to start his career with the Lakers next season, but there’s a chance he’ll play considerable minutes and eventually become a starter.
Heading into his rookie year, Randle will have some tough competition to earn Rookie of the Year honors. Although Randle is confident he has what it takes to stand out amongst the rest of the rookies in the 2014-15 NBA seaosn, ESPN’s Forecast for the distinction as the league’s best rookie says otherwise:
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) August 13, 2014
The four players ahead of Randle on ESPN’s Forecast are Dante Exum (Utah Jazz), Nerlens Noel (Philadelphia 76ers), Andrew Wiggins (Cleveland Cavaliers/Minnesota Timberwolves) and Jabari Parker (Milwaukee Bucks).
All the players with the exception of Noel were selected ahead of Randle in the draft. Noel will get the Blake Griffin treatment in terms of being considered a rookie for the upcoming season due to missing his first year with a knee injury.
The other Rookie of the Year candidates behind Randle at six and seven are Doug McDermott (Chicago Bulls) and Marcus Smart (Boston Celtics). The Lakers showed interest in Smart heading into the draft, but the Celtics chose to select with the sixth pick.
With Randle more than likely coming off the bench, the former Wildcat will have a tough time competing with the rookies mentioned above. Chances are Parker, Wiggins, Noel and Exum will be starters playing a major role with their teams next season.
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