With the emergence of Larry Nance Jr., over the summer league, the Lakers’ depth in the frontcourt has more disparity and competition than last year with Julius Randle seemingly the forgotten piece of the Lakers’ young core.
Last year, Julius Randle was ranked third in double-doubles (34) among power forwards. The only players ahead of him were Anthony Davis (36) and Kevin Love (35).
With a new system that emphasizes flow and freedom, Randle could be primed for a breakout season.
Head coach Luke Walton spoke greatly about Randle’s skill sets while on Mason & Ireland on ESPNLA 710 and how they can provide a great advantage for the team.
"He's such a phenomenal athlete. If he gets the rebound, we're telling him to push it himself."
— Jacob Rude (@JacobRude) September 26, 2016
Randle is a freight train when he gets the ball in transition. His ability to handle the ball after a defensive rebound allows him to either score and make plays for his teammates.
At his position, Randle is already faster and more skilled than most of his opposition. If Walton decides to play Randle at the five, then opposing centers will have a hard time containing Randle in transition. If Randle is going up against a small-ball five, he could capitalize on that matchup as well, posting up the smaller opponent in the paint.
Randle is a unique player at his position. He is fast and powerful. Walton recognizes these strengths and will us them to the team’s benefit.
Randle will have more freedom and autonomy to play his style, something that he was limited to last season.
Randle will also only be 21 years old next season. He has a lot of time to improve his game and is already taking the proper steps to do so.
With a new coaching system and a fun basketball culture, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Randle have a breakthrough season.