Heading into 2014-15 season, Julius Randle was viewed as a potential future cornerstone for the Los Angeles Lakers. Unfortunately after breaking his leg in the season opener, Randle’s season was lost and he spent all year rehabbing his injury.
Randle has begun practicing in preparation for Summer League in Las Vegas and according to Bleacher Report’s Kevin Ding, general manager Mitch Kupchak compared Randle favorably to a former Laker:
Relevant to free agency: Kupchak compared @J30_RANDLE to Lamar Odom, saying: "I would hesitate to pigeonhole him at a position right now."
— KEVIN DING (@KevinDing) June 26, 2015
If Randle is able to develop into an Odom-like player for the Lakers, it would be a major success. Randle seems to have the size, speed, and ball-handling ability of Odom and has reportedly been working on his jump shot extensively.
It is also worth noting that Kupchak wouldn’t pin a position onto Randle. Versatility is very important in today’s NBA and Randle possibly being able to play both forward positions would give the Lakers a ton of options going forward.
Along with Randle, the Lakers have D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson to give themselves a very promising young core to build around. The three of them together could represent the future of the Lakers, which now looks extremely bright after the NBA Draft.