The Los Angeles Lakers have some of the most versatile big men in the league, namely in Julius Randle, who has some point guard skills and has often taken the ball up the court himself in previous years after getting defensive rebounds.
But the Lakers now have a true point guard in Lonzo Ball, who they drafted with the No. 2 overall pick. Ball has an ability to push the pace and find open teammates unlike any other player in the league.
Because of that Lakers head coach Luke Walton has told Randle and the rest of his big men that he wants them to get the ball to a point guard after a rebound as opposed to bringing it up the court themselves for the time being.
“But for now, the rule is, if you’re a four-man or five-man, find a point guard and get to your lane,” Walton said after Thursday’s practice. “Just because we want some more structure and understanding with what we’re trying to do. Obviously, with how good Julius is at flying up the court with the ball, and Larry’s proven he can do it a little bit too, we’ll give them more freedom down the road. He’s had some nice roles to the basket. He’ll find other ways to score and be effective.”
Getting the ball in Ball’s hands make sense as he gets it up the court as quick as possible, which leads to easy buckets at the other end.
Randle worked extremely hard this summer to get in better shape so he can get up and down the court better, so if he finds Ball with an outlet pass and runs down the floor then it will be tough for bigger defenders to keep up with him.
Randle has proven that he can bring the ball up the court and be a playmaker, so he will likely get his opportunities down the road but right now it makes a lot of sense to get the ball in the hands of a point guard like Ball and let him do his thing.