After an exhilarating offseason, the Los Angeles Lakers emerged with a revamped roster, excited front office, and head coach ready to guide his young roster in the right direction. With a young core headlined by Lonzo Ball, Julius Randle, and Brandon Ingram, the Lakers have a chance to escape their previous lottery expectations and climb into the playoff race.
A huge part of that upswing was the offseason, where the front office added Brook Lopez, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Andrew Bogut. Those veterans not only solidified the starting lineup, but also add a leadership value to a young core that should continue taking in wisdom from those that have paved the way.
Randle has been a direct beneficiary of this roster change, adapting his body to best fit the expected offense entering the 2017-18 season.
Randle is entering a contract season, with a strong belief that his transformed body will thrive in. At the same time, the young core around him has also shown immense growth, ready to take on the challenges that await them. In an article by Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus, Randle stated that the Lakers culture is progressing in the right direction:
“It seems like everything is going in a good direction, as far as the culture we’re trying to build,” Randle said. “Obviously, everybody loves our coaches. It’s been good and I like where we’re going and it should be a great year for us.”
Randle was there to witness the 2017 Las Vegas Summer League, where he saw the Lakers win the championship, Ball win MVP, and Kuzma take Finals MVP honors. That showing truly was a testament to the hard work the front office put in, with three first-round picks and four overall from the 2017 NBA Draft.
Randle, who is set to start at the power forward position once again, will thrive off of the expected starting lineup in place. With Caldwell-Pope, Ingram, Ball and Lopez capable of knocking down a three-point shot, Randle should have more opportunities to score in the paint. At the same time, Randle has put on multiple examples of his improved jump shot this offseason, which could be the key factor in his growth this upcoming season.
The 22-year-old posted averages of 13.2 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 3.6 assists last season, all while shooting 48.8 percent from the field in 28.8 minutes per game. While his scoring load may take a hit with the new arrivals, Randle will surely thrive alongside a Lakers roster that is prepared to take the next step.