The Los Angeles Lakers have already guaranteed part of Julius Randle’s contract
Julius Randle played part of the first game of his rookie season with the Los Angeles Lakers last year before suffering a broken leg that kept him out for the entirety of the season. That’s 14 minutes of regular season NBA action that the 20-year-old power forward has played in his career, but that and preseason action have been enough for the Lakers to already pick up his third-year option and guarantee the third year of his rookie deal.
Baxter Holmes of ESPN is reporting that the Lakers made the decision to pick up Randle’s option on Thursday, locking them in to pay the young forward approximately $3.3 million next year.
There’s no denying the potential of Randle, who was selected with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. Coming out of college, Randle was viewed as one of the players who could be able to contribute to his new team immediately, but getting injured in his debut derailed that. However, he showed last preseason and has shown thus far this preseason that he can be an integral part of the future.
Perhaps the most promising thing that the Lakers and Randle have shown in the preseason is Randle’s already developing rapport with rookie point guard D’Angelo Russell. Randle and Russell are two young pieces that have already looked devastating in the pick-and-roll in the preseason and locking Randle up only ensures the duo’s growth with the franchise.