Earlier today, I wrote about how Julius Randle should not start this season. Earlier today, the Lakers had a 5-on-5 practice. Then, Julius Randle went at it some more.
Tim DiFrancesco (@) is the Lakers strength and conditioning coach. He was working with Julius Randle in the practice gym. He is an expert in his chosen field, and revealed some of his thoughts on twitter.
Conditioning is one of the priorities for Julius Randle. On the treadmill, he looks like he is leaning out a bit. That can be expected with NBA-level nutrition and training. However, he still needs to gain strength in order to play the power forward position. Julius Randle’s best strengths are his soft touch, motor, bulk, and quickness at the power forward position. If he were to switch to small forward, those strengths would be negated. NBA-level small forwards are on par with the quickness of shooting guards. One rare exception is LeBron James, who has elite level quickness while maintaining the strength of a power forward. Randle isn’t consistent enough from 20′ and out, which is necessary at the small forward spot. If Randle were to play in the post as a small forward, spacing could be an issue at the offensive end.
The worst case scenario would be for Randle to become a ‘tweener at the forward position. He was exceptional at the NCAA level, playing the power forward slot next to a prototypical NBA center. Changing his position would hurt his effectiveness greatly.
It is pleasant to see young Laker players that the fans can root for. They work hard in the practice gym, played well during the Vegas Pro League, and show glimpses of great NBA potential. For Randle, realizing that NBA potential may become sooner, rather than later.