The Los Angeles Lakers aren’t used to picking in the lottery, but after losing Dwight Howard to the Houston Rockets in the offseason and suffering various injuries, including the losses of guards Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash for a majority of the season and big man Pau Gasol for various parts of the season, among several others, they finished with a record of 27-55, sixth-worst in the league.
With the seventh-overall selection in the draft, the Lakers probably thought they could not get the type of player they truly wanted. However, former Kentucky Wildcats’ power forward Julius Randle, once viewed as one of the top three or four prospects in college basketball, dropped and the Lakers quickly scooped him up. Randle’s defense has been questioned, but the biggest reason for his stock falling was a lingering foot problem. Last month it was reported that Randle would be needing surgery and could miss part of the regular season.
Randle and his family quickly denied the report.
Randle has since seen foot specialists and they have determined he won’t need surgery on his right foot and has been cleared to play in the Las Vegas Summer League later this month, according to Mike Bresnahan of The Los Angeles Times.
Randle was ranked as the draft’s fourth-best prospect according by Jonathan Givony of Draft Express. He measured in at 6’9″ and 250 pounds with a wingspan of 7’0″ at the NBA’s Scouting Combine. Last season, he put up 15.0 points, 10.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game while shooting 50.0% from the field and 70.6% from the charity stripe.