2014 NBA Draft: Los Angeles Lakers Must Select Julius Randle If Available

Julius Randle Lakers

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers have worked out a number of potential draft picks, but have not yet worked out Julius Randle. That’s reportedly about to change as Randle is set for a solo workout where his worrying foot injury will be put to the test.

Should Randle come through the workout unscathed and produce the skills and athleticism he is capable of, he is a must for the Lakers if he is available to take with the seventh pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.

A big complaint from Lakers faithful during the worst season in franchise history was the lack of toughness down low. The 6-foot-9, 250-pound power forward out of Kentucky can provide a physical presence the Lakers lacked last season from day one.

His physicality and defensive rebounding is reminiscent of Zach Randolph, and like Randolph, Randle is a bully. He uses his body to establish position, and even at just 19 years of age, he will be able to outmuscle enough opposition forwards in the league to get close to the 10 rebounds a game he was getting in college.

Not only will Randle provide a lift in toughness and rebounding, he is no slouch with the ball in his hands, scoring 15 a game at Kentucky. Relying heavily on his strength and NBA-ready body, Randle might struggle initially to score the ball, but an offseason developing a jump shot will see him continue to provide regular double-doubles.

If the Lakers are to re-sign Jordan Hill, as they should, a Hill/Randle front court is an entertaining prospect. The Lakers would automatically be a top offensive rebounding team in the league with this pair. The hustle and defense of Hill along with Randle’s physicality and developing offense is a good place to start for the rebuilding Lakers.

The Lakers need help now. If they fail to secure a superstar by trading the No. 7 pick, the struggling franchise isn’t in a position to wait for a prospect to develop while Kobe Bryant finishes out his career.

Bryant, as do the Lakers, want to win now. It has always been the Lakers’ way. Their best bet is to draft Randle and hope he is the NBA-ready player so many people have said he is.

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  • M T

    Hell no. Randle can’t play defense, only plays one position, plays bad defense, can’t play SF or C, doesn’t even score tha much to make up for his bad defense, and oh he also has bad defense.
    Gordon is the answer. He brings elite defense from day 1, athleticism, ball handling, passing, a high IQ, hustle, great rebounding for his size, and a great work ethic. Who doesn’t like that unique, amazing blend of skills? His shooting isn’t a problem because that’s something that everyone improves with over time. We can’t expect most 18 year olds to have an nba jumper.
    Just a fun fact: Gordon is the YOUNGEST player in the draft, yet he had the HIGHEST defensive win shares in college. His team was also #1 in defense among the hundreds of colleges throughout the country. Coincidence?

    • TheZuluNation

      Um not even Gordon is the answer. He’ll be a tweener in the NBA and as history has shown they do not do well in the NBA. Just ask Derrick Williams who’s an ex Wildcat. I think Gordon will be a solid defender in the NBA but to waste the #7 pick on him would be insane. I’m not even a fan of Randle, but I would take him over Gordon in a heartbeat. Marcus Smart is the answer for the Lakers. In today’s NBA it is all about the PG position. If you don’t have an athletic PG that can either defend at an above average or elite level or score really well, you’re out of luck.

      • M T

        I doubt you know much about Gordon; just admit it. If you actually watch his games instead of just watching his stat sheet, then you’ll know the impact that he brings. He had the most defensive win shares out of the hundreds and hundreds of college students. His team was also the BEST defensive team in the nation…It doesn’t get better than that, so if you still aren’t convinced, then you just don’t know Gordon. He could honestly be the best player in the top 7. Randle only scores(and not even that much at that), rebounds, and hustles. He’s not a defender, passer, and his smarts are no where near Gordon’s. Gordon is also way more athletic and can play both forward spots. He’ll also be able to guard almost every single PG, SG, SF, and most bigmen. That’s 90% of the league that he can guard well. It doesn’t get better than this.

        • TheZuluNation

          “He’ll also be able to guard almost every single PG, SG, SF, and most bigmen.” Enough said about your basketball knowledge lmao. I rest my case.

          • M T

            He can guard almost every single PG, SG, SF, and most bigmen. Sounds hard to believe huh? Good thing it’s true. You really don’t know much about Gordon yet; just admit and go learn about him. I’m done commenting with someone who just doesn’t have enough knowledge on the subject.

          • TheZuluNation

            Alright we will see once the season starts. Obviously I have seen Gordon play because why else would I be commenting on here? I mean duh! I’m not saying the guy can’t play defense but outside of that and athleticism, he brings nothing to the table. And I think he will struggle with PF’s unless they’re stretch 4′s. f he could finish at the basket, that would be great but he can’t. If he could shoot, he would be even better.

          • M T

            CLEARLY and obviously you don’t know enough about AG if you still think he only has athleticism and defense even AFTER I basically gave you a list of his unique blend of talents! Please educate yourself or if you’re too lazy, then at least read my list of his skills in my very first comment above!

      • Farva55

        You could do much worse than the second coming of Zack Randolph.

        • TheZuluNation

          That’s true.

  • LAL

    Randle? No thanks!

    1. His ceiling is the lowest compare to other players between 1 – 8 pick.
    2. If the Lakers are targeting Kevin Love in 2015, why would they take a PF? Especially someone like Randle who can only play 1 position. He is short for C and his wingspan doesn’t help either.

    • Farva55

      If he can learn to shoot a jumper (mid range extended), he’d have a pretty high ceiling. The foot though would be worrisome. Don’t see the Lakers going this direction.