About a month ago when asked about whether he will move any of the young core in a trade, Magic Johnson said the only player that they won’t consider moving is Brandon Ingram. There is no doubt that the Lakers favor Ingram as the face and future of the franchise, but what about the rest of the core like Julius Randle and D’Angelo Russell?
According to Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report, the Lakers’ front office still have some doubts and questions about the future of Randle and Russell.
“There is still a lot to like about both Russell and Randle as well, but there are also ongoing questions about how well they take criticism, according to team sources.”
Both players are valued highly to the Lakers and both played well last season, but they didn’t exceed expectations that were set by Luke Walton and the front office.
“Lakers head coach Luke Walton entered the season asking Russell to be less of a know-it-all and more of a leader for the group, while he hoped Randle would emulate Draymond Green in using every perceived slight as motivation.”
The Lakers want to emulate the Golden State Warriors’ style of play. Walton understands what it takes to constitute a championship caliber team, so it is not a surprise to hear his expectations for his young players are high.
There is no doubt that Russell and Randle are great players that can improve with time; whether they have the latter to do so in Los Angeles is yet to be determined.