The Los Angeles Lakers will have one of the most promising young players on their roster to start the 2014-15 NBA season with Julius Randle. The Kentucky product was selected with the seventh overall pick by the Lakers back in June and could get considerable minutes in his rookie season with the team.
Although uncertain whether Randle will start or come off the bench next season, Randle’s former head coach, John Calipari, believes the first-year forward will compete for Rookie of the Year honors, via Liz Habib of FOX 11 Overtime:
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) September 25, 2014
With some very talented players in this rookie class, Randle will be up against some stiff competition. Andrew Wiggins (Minnesota Timberwolves) and Jabari Parker (Milwaukee Bucks) will likely be the frontrunners for regular-season award, but Randle could thrust himself into the conversation if made the starter and plays better than expected alongside Kobe Bryant and company.
Other notable rookies that could potentially be in contention for the Rookie of the Year award are Doug McDermott (Chicago Bulls), Nerlens Noel (Philadelphia 76ers), and Marcus Smart (Boston Celtics).
As of right now, Randle seems destined to come off the bench to start the season. Veteran forward Carlos Boozer will likely get the nod as the starter unless head coach Byron Scott has a change of heart after training camp. Scott is determined to turn things around with an emphasis on defense this season and if Randle improves the frontcourt play defensively, the rookie could be starting sooner rather than later.
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