The Utah Jazz will work out Kentucky big man Julius Randle on Wednesday, reports team radio announcer David Locke. That should give the team a chance to look at his right foot, the source of much concern these days.
Randle has been one of the top prospects in the draft all year, but recent rumors surrounding his injured foot — and the possible need for surgery — have overshadowed his draft stock. He’s already worked out for other teams, including the Los Angeles Lakers, but his health remains a question mark.
The former Wildcats star insists that he doesn’t require a major procedure and rumors concerning the severity of the injury have been overblown.
That’s something Utah will surely want to see for itself, though Randle could do a lot more for his chances of getting picked early by playing well in front of executives. The Jazz have already worked out Indiana’s Noah Vonleh and Arizona’s Aaron Gordon, two other forwards expected to be selected in the lottery this year.
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Randle may seem like a curious fit in Utah, where the team already has Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter to anchor the frontcourt, but he could bring some depth and a nice change-of-pace. Considering the Jazz already have a number of solid young perimeter players, too, don’t be surprised if the team simply takes the best player available when its pick is up.
At No. 5 overall, that may or may not be Randle, who showed off some strong skills in Kentucky but may not have the upside of other prospects. Talented players like Gordon, Vonleh, Dante Exum and Marcus Smart could potentially be on the board, so Utah will have some serious options to parse through.
Randle won’t be in that mix if he’s not healthy, though, and that foot will surely get some extra attention Wednesday as the Jazz seek to sort things out. We’ll likely know how the meeting went based on who Utah drafts later this month.