Former freshman sensation Julius Randle worked out for the Lakers on Tuesday in front of Jim Buss, Mitch Kupchak and the rest of their staff. According to numerous reports, Randle had a great workout for the team. He even received some love from Jim Buss.
The concern surrounding Randle has been the rumors that Randle will need surgery on his right foot to remove a screw that was placed in there when Randle was in high school. When asked about the injury, according to the LA Times, Randle stated, “I met with the best foot doctor in the country, and he said he wouldn’t do anything for my foot. There’s no scheduled surgery or anything. I feel healthy, athletic. I’m moving great—no problem recovering. I’m ready to go.”
With the 7th pick in the upcoming 2014 NBA Draft, the Lakers may be in position to draft Randle if the concern about his foot scares some teams away. Randle, once the 2nd best high school recruit, has been compared to double-double machine Zach Randolph because of their similar body type, physical style and their apparent lack of athleticism. The 6’9” 19 year old quieted some of the doubts of his athleticism on Tuesday when he posted a 38 inch vertical during his workout with the Lakers.
When asked about the possibility of playing with Kobe and the Lakers, Randle had an interesting perspective.
“I’m the biggest Lakers fan. Probably more of a Kobe fan. I heard Kobe was a little tough on rookies, but I don’t care. The city of Los Angeles expects nothing but championships. What more can I ask for? I’m a little prepared for it because, coming from Kentucky — lose a game and they go crazy.”
Randle is one of many intriguing prospects the Lakers will be scouting before the day of the draft on June 26th. Other big men include Aaron Gordon, Noah Vonleh and Joel Embiid. When asked how he compares to his competition in the draft Randle responded, “How do I rate myself against them? I feel like I’m the best one.”
The Lakers will definitely have options with their No. 7 overall pick. The team would still love to trade the pick for a player that can help them win in the immediate future with Kobe still under contract. If they don’t trade the pick, though, the Lakers should be ecstatic to land a player like Randle. Out of all the players in the draft, Randle, along with Jabari Parker, is seen as the most NBA-ready of the group. His skillset and toughness would be huge additions to a Laker team with only four players currently under contract.