Official: Los Angeles Lakers extend qualifying offer to Julius Randle

The Los Angeles Lakers completed what was seen as a mere formality on Wednesday, extending a qualifying offer to forward Julius Randle and, thus, making him a restricted free agent.

The Los Angeles Lakers have extended a qualifying offer to forward Julius Randle, it was announced today by General Manager Rob Pelinka.

By extending the qualifying offer, Randle becomes a restricted free agent.

Drafted seventh overall by the Lakers in the 2014 NBA Draft, Randle owns career averages of 13.5 points (.493 FG%), 8.9 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 238 games (182 starts) for Los Angeles. Randle finished 10th in the NBA in field goal percentage last season, shooting 55.8 percent from the floor. The University of Kentucky product played all 82 games (49 starts) in 2017-18, averaging a career-best 16.1 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists.

The move sets up an interesting free agency period where Randle, once considered an afterthought in the Lakers future, will be a centerpiece of the Lakers’ discussions.

The move allows the Lakers to match any free agent offer Randle might receive. With the Lakers holding his bird rights as well, the team can go over the cap to match any offer sheet Randle might receive. That will become especially important should the Lakers be able to attract and sign a pair of max level free agents as the team can match Randle’s offer sheet in the final move of the summer.

Because of that, Randle becomes an intriguing part of the off-season puzzle as the Lakers move forward.

For now, Randle’s cap hold will be just north of $12 million while his qualifying offer, should he accept it, will be roughly $5 million for one season before he would become an unrestricted free agent.

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