Los Angeles Lakers big man Julius Randle, who was selected with the 7th overall pick in last year’s NBA Draft, suffered a broken leg during LA’s season-opener against the Houston Rockets, and was put on the shelf for his entire rookie year after playing only a total of 14 minutes in his first game.
Randle was recently cleared for full contact and 2-on-2 and 3-on-3 drills, and is excited about returning to the court. Randle revealed to the Los Angeles Times that he’s shed some weight, and he told Bill Oram of the Orange County Register that he believes that he’s 100% healthy.
Asked if he was 100 percent yet, Randle said, “I believe I am. The last time I checked probably about a month ago, the bone was 95 percent healed. I feel great.”
As the Lakers prepare to transition into the post-Kobe Bryant era, they look to land some promising young talent that can help them return to the Western Conference’s upper echelon. Los Angeles believes they have something special in Randle, and they hope by pairing him with electric young guard Jordan Clarkson and either Karl Anthony-Towns or Jahlil Okafor (whoever the Minnesota Timberwolves don’t select with the first overall pick) they can back on top soon enough.
As for Randle, he intends to play for the Lakers in the Las Vegas Summer League, officially making Los Angeles a legitimate contender for the NBA Summer League Championship. Randle, along with either Towns or Okafor, Tarik Black, Jabari Brown, a second rookie whom will be selected late in the first round with the Rockets pick, and possibly the aforementioned Clarkson makes for a formidable Summer League squad.
It feels weird saying this as a Lakers fan, but I can’t wait until the Summer League. That squad is going to do some damage.