The amount of moves made on just the first day of free agency had many speculation about Julius Randle’s future in Los Angeles. The big man is a restricted free agent in a dwindling market but it was not immediately clear whether he and the Lakers would find a continuing partnership.
Things are looking up for both sides, however, as according to Yahoo Sports’ Shams Charania, Randle and the Lakers will meet on Monday to discuss a contract with the fifth-year pro hopeful of a return to the purple and gold.
Sources: Lakers restricted free agent Julius Randle hasn’t yet received an offer from L.A., but has excitement for arrival of LeBron James. Randle’s representatives and the Lakers are expected to speak Monday, hopeful of potential offer to retain him.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 2, 2018
Randle had a breakout season last year that showed he could be a positively impactful player in the NBA. But with money scarce across the league, Randle may not receive the payday that he was looking forward to.
The Lakers have kept enough cap space to keep Randle’s cap hold on the books while making the moves that they have. Therefore, they can use his Bird rights to go over the salary cap to retain him. That seems like a likely solution for both sides.
It’s not clear what a potential contract for Randle could look like. The Lakers may want to keep him under team control longterm but they have also only given one-year contracts outside of James, hoping to maximize cap space in 2019.
Randle’s contract does not necessarily preclude the Lakers from adding another star as Luol Deng’s contract could be moved or stretched (in addition to other necessary moves) to clear more cap space before Randle is officially re-signed.
Randle’s main suitors seemed to be the Dallas Mavericks but they opted to give a one-year max contract to Clippers center DeAndre Jordan instead, effectively taking their entire cap space.
Randle could theoretically sign for his qualifying offer of only 5.6 million dollars in order to his unrestricted free agency in one year but in the event that he signs a short-term deal, it’s not impossible to imagine the Lakers thanking him by giving him a bigger salary.