Lakers News: Luke Walton Encouraged By Growth From Julius Randle; Expects Breakout...

Lakers News: Luke Walton Encouraged By Growth From Julius Randle; Expects Breakout Season

SHARE
Julius Randle Lakers
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers understood that the entire dynamic of the roster was going to change when they drafted Lonzo Ball with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. Ball immediately adds to the up-tempo dynamic, which will allow teammates like Julius Randle, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Brook Lopez to prosper.

Randle in particular could benefit from the addition of Ball, who will get Randle the ball in much better positions for easy baskets, something head coach Luke Walton hopes to see.

Walton sat down for an interview on The Lowe Post podcast with ESPN’s Zach Lowe and Walton confidently stated that Randle’s offseason workouts will allow him to out hustle and outrun most of his big man counterparts:

I envision with the way we’re gonna be playing next year and guys flying down the wings and Lonzo looking up to throw ahead anytime you can beat your man I just envision him just outrunning people all day, getting rebounds flying up himself, playmaking.

While Randle wasn’t necessarily out of shape last season, he has worked with new Strength and Endurance coach Gunner Peterson in order to improve his body. Randle has slimmed down tremendously this offseason, losing a lot of body fat and developing his core muscle and stamina.

Walton continued on about Randle during the interview, giving an anecdote about how he and his power forward have worked one-on-one. In fact, Walton is helping Randle progress towards a former player of his in Draymond Green:

We’ve sat down and watched a lot of Draymond film together […] They’ve talked on the phone and we sit down and watch film as far as what his reads are when he’s coming off and he’s into it. He wants to get better, he wants to learn and I’m hoping it’s a big year for him.

President of basketball operations Magic Johnson is also envisioning big things from Randle, foreseeing a breakout season from the 2014 draft pick.

Randle already gave fans a brief preview into the future when he stated that he and his teammates will have fun playing alongside Ball, who will make their jobs that much easier on the floor. The 22-year-old averaged 13.2 points, 8.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists last season, while shooting 48.8 percent from the field.