Lakers Offseason Rumors: Is Julius Randle Expendable?


The Los Angeles Lakers may have kept the second overall pick but what does this entail for junior forward, Julius Randle?

When looking at the big board, either Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram would be solid picks for the Lakers, as both guys are very skilled and are projected to have the ability to help a team immediately.

Ingram is 6-foot-9 with an even longer wingspan, and has drawn some Kevin Durant comparisons of late. Simmons is 6-foot-10, 240 pounds and basically averaged 20 points and 12 rebounds at Louisiana State University.

For instant reference, here are the two players’ scouting videos for the upcoming draft.


Either player would be great for the Lakers, however, they both potentially fill a position at which the Lakers already, the power forward slot.  So the question must be asked, if either of those college studs goes second overall, is Randle expendable?

Mid-Range Trouble

Last season, when Randle was on the floor, his MO was obvious: go hard to the hoop, run the floor, lead the break after a rebound — things at which he excelled that any team would benefit from having. But where Randle struggled profusely was with his shooting, especially from mid-range, where he put up an abysmal 22.9 percent from that area, per

If you watch him shoot, his mechanics are clearly wonky. His release isn’t smooth and he does this odd scissor-kick-looking motion with his legs. In fact, in November 2015, CBS Sports reported that the Lakers were planning to rework Randle’s jumper. So I guess I’m not crazy.

No Right Hand or Touch

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In addition to having a nearly non-existent off handle, Randle has also shown a lack of polish when finishing at the rim.

When Randle careens into the paint, he’s almost always looking to shoot the ball but as a left-handed player, his current instinct is to go up with his left, even though in many situations it would be more practical to attempt the shot with his off hand.

Other two-year players have developed that skill or at least showed more signs than Randle’s current improvement making this an obvious question of concern.

Questionable Skill Set 

Personally, my biggest question is this: What exactly is Randle? I mean I know he’s a human being that plays basketball, but what is he? Is he a power forward? Can he play center? Can you run an offense through him? Is he purely an off-the-bench energy guy on a good team? I can’t decide, and that’s the problem.

Randle can’t shoot well enough to be a stretch four, doesn’t have the handles or offensive polish to be a wing, and is way too undersized to play traditional center. He has a big body and is fast, but it’s become increasing clear that in today’s NBA: if you can’t shoot, you’re probably not playing much.

To be fair, it’s well-documented that Simmons can’t shoot very well either but he does so many other things positively that this can be put on the back burner at least temporarily. And Ingram, we all know that he shot over 40 percent from 3-point range in college.

Yes, Randle is young but the fact that both Ingram and Simmons are more polished products right now at a younger age isn’t an encouraging sign for Randle who may require over a year or two to reach his fullest potential.

Next: 5 Bold Moves the Lakers Could Make This Offseason

The Lakers are sure to pick one of the two promising college prospects this upcoming draft and when they do, they’ll have a big decision to make regarding Randle.