The Lakers find themselves having lucked into one of the best draft classes in recent memory, sitting with the 7th pick in a class that has drawn comparisons to the 2003 class (LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony) or even 1996 (Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Allen Iverson). A player like Julius Randle would likely be one of the best in most draft classes but has been considered a prospect the Lakers may be able to grab with the 7th pick.
That is until today, when news came from Yahoo Sports Adrian Wojnarowski that Randle would likely need surgery on his foot, keeping him out until training camp.
University of Kentucky forward Julius Randle, considered a top 10 pick, likely needs surgery on his right foot after the NBA draft in June, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
The procedure is expected to keep Randle out six to eight weeks this summer, sources said, but there’s a strong expectation within front offices that he’ll be cleared for the start of training camp in the fall.
While optimistic that Randle won’t miss meaningful game time, this would mean he’d miss out on the Summer League, which offers rookies and youngsters a chance to acclimate themselves into the NBA game.
Certainly, this doesn’t crush Randle’s draft stock. He’s completed enough workouts as is to impress scouts and GMs. However, any injury concern, especially to a big man like Randle, is cause to raise flags.
After dominating the paint for Kentucky last season, Randle declared for the draft and is one of the more NBA-ready prospects. His physical presence already has scouts thinking he can handle big men in the NBA.