Julius Randle is one of the most intriguing players on the Lakers moving into next season. The power forward had a great season last year as far as counting stats go but his efficiency and defense left much to be desired. Although it was his first full season in the NBA, Randle’s flaws left many with doubts about his ceiling.
As such, next season will be a very interesting one for the Kentucky product. If he makes any significant improvements to the holes in the games, Randle can bring as much excitement and hope as anyone on the roster.
Fortunately, the big man has been working hard all offseason and seems to be excited about the direction of the team. He caught up with Mike Bresnahan of TWC Sportsnet (h/t Harrison Faigen of Silver Screen and Roll):
I was just telling our coaches that man it’s been a long offseason, not making the playoffs, not even really being able to compete for the playoffs was frustrating. So it’s been a long offseason and I’m tired of drills and practice and ready to get to the real thing.
New environment, guys are having fun, so I’m excited.
Just playing as hard as I can, trying to get into top shape, playing with a lot of energy and motor and stuff like that, and then just playing unselfish. Moving the ball, open man gets the shot, playing for each other rather than playing for ourselves. It’s just a different energy.
All the shade thrown at you-know-who is no coincidence. Randle may have suffered the most from the coaching staff’s ineptitude last season. Having a coaching staff that emphasizes moving the ball (Randle had a notoriously high rate of isolation plays last year) can only accentuate the skills that Don Julio already possesses.
So yes, that new energy around the Lakers is real and it can only lead to good things for Julius Randle and the rest of the young core.