As expected, once LeBron James broke the seal on free agency, the pieces elsewhere began to fall into place. For the Los Angeles Lakers, that entailed trading for Jeremy Lin and re-signing Jordan Hill and Nick Young.
In an effort to continue filling out the roster, the Lakers not only missed out on the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes, but also saw Pau Gasol select the Windy City as his next destination. The team is still in need of a head coach, though it’s reported a hire is forthcoming.
As for the Lakers first round pick, Julius Randle was in a holding pattern with the Lakers needing to wait for free agency to get into motion before signing the young power forward. The Lakers continued to tie up loose ends Sunday as they announced the signing of Randle, which permits him to immediately play in Summer League action.
Full press release below:
EL SEGUNDO – The Los Angeles Lakers have signed Julius Randle, the seventh overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak. Randle will be available to play in today’s NBA Summer League game in Las Vegas against the New Orleans Pelicans at 1:30 p.m.
In his lone season at Kentucky, Randle appeared in 40 games (all starts) for the Wildcats, averaging 15.0 points, 10.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 0.8 blocks in 30.8 minutes per game en route to being named the SEC Freshman of the Year in addition to being a First Team All-SEC, SEC All-Freshman and SEC All-Tournament Team selection.
The Dallas, TX native led the nation with 24 double-doubles and had seven games of scoring 20+ points in 2013-14. The 19-year-old led Kentucky to the NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship game with consecutive double-doubles in Sweet 16 and Elite Eight victories before scoring 16 points with five rebounds against Wisconsin in the Final Four and notching 10 points with six rebounds and four assists in the final.