Julius Randle is Crucial to Clarkson & Russell’s Growth


The dynamic duo in D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson have become a big name in the media ever since draft night. All the talk has been about how well Clarkson and Russell can be together, how they can fit with Kobe will all three on the court, and what exactly to do with them to maximize the potential for the Lakers night in and night out. Media outlets everywhere have asked the two players if they can play together and both responded with a positive response, as expected.

“He’s a guy I could definitely play with,” Russell said of Clarkson, per Serena Winters of Lakers Nation. “He’s versatile. He can play on the ball or off the ball.”

RELATED: 5 Things D’Angelo Russell Can Learn from Kobe Bryant

Clarkson also said of Russell, “He makes the game a lot easier for everyone,” per Lakers Nation.

Out of the three, Clarkson obviously has the most experience, as Randle was hurt last year and Clarkson started nearly the whole second half of the season. Julius Randle is crucial to the growth of these guards because he can do three things:

  1. Randle can create pressure off the guards with his ability to score and take the ball to the basket.
  2. Randle will hopefully be able to run the pick and roll with both guards and create easy buckets.
  3. Randle can give open shots for the two guards with his threat of scoring the basketball.

Randle showed some key things of note in the 2015 summer league. He looked explosive, he looked conditioned, and he looked intelligent. He picked his spots, and showed signs of greatness as his strength is in 1 on 1 areas in the mid-range part of the floor. Randle showed some unreal explosiveness on his first step that can be so dangerous, that if he gets a consistent jump shot, he’ll have a great season next year. If Randle does get his mid-range game going, teams may start doubling him or at least he’ll cause attention to himself from defenders that will allow Clarkson and Russell to find the open area and pick their spots for shooting.

The biggest thing I see for the development of these two guards, in regards to how Randle can help them, is it gives them balance. Often times, teams will draft a guard who doesn’t really have a big man that you can trust on the floor or can play at a high level. If the Lakers didn’t have Randle and just had Clarkson and Russell running the show then it would be difficult and could even stunt their growth because they have to be one dimensional and create plays over and over.

It seems as though since Randle had a year off for recovery, he wasn’t in the media as much as he should have. He can be a big impact for the Lakers coming up and with the good moves the Lakers made in free agency, he can continue to learn from veterans and help out Clarkson and Russell who are going through what Randle went through just one year ago.