LakeShowLife has been covering Julius Randle since February. His impact early into the NCAA season was too great.
The Lakers finally get a player who plays in the paint. Not only does he play in the paint, but he flat out scores in the area. As mentioned by ESPN in the draft coverage, Randle takes 85% of his shots in the paint. DraftExpress broke down his numbers very well. He converts well over 60% in the painted area, well above the average. He gets to the free throw line at a rate of 9.5 attempts per-40 minutes adjusted. He hits over 70% from the free throw line.
That is natural talent. He uses a soft touch, decent reach, tremendous footwork, and NBA-level strength to get those shots in the paint. There’s no doubt that translates as NBA-level offensive skill.
Rebounding is an NBA-translatable skill. His rebounding per-40 rate is 13.6 rebounds. On the offensive glass alone, he averages 4.6 offensive rebounds per-40, elite at both the NCAA level and NBA level.
As with all rookies, every player has elements to work on to have a more well-rounded game. Defensively, he’s not an elite shotblocker or ball-thief. However, he has the physical tools to be an excellent positional defender. His quickness can be used to defend and switch pick-and-roll situations well. He rotates out to shooters and leaks out to get points in transition. His strength and ability to anchor his feet, allow him to be a tremendous post-defender and bump players out of position.
Best of all, he has the right attitude. He’s a sponge, willing to learn, and he wants to improve.
More importantly, the current face of the Laker franchise welcomed him onto the team.
The Vegas Pro League starts July 11th. That is the first taste Laker fans will get to see Julius Randle amongst NBA veterans.
Welcome to the Lakers, Julius. The Laker fans wanted you to be a Laker all along.