NBA Trade Deadline 2018: 5 teams that could really use Julius Randle

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 27: Julius Randle
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 27: Julius Randle /
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The Lakers are reportedly looking to trade Julius Randle. He may no longer fit in Los Angeles, but there are plenty of teams who could use him.

Julius Randle has been a beast this season — averaging 20.7 points, 11.2 rebounds and 3.1 assists per 36 minutes, with career-highs in field goal percentage (54.3) and free throw rate (.463). However, he’s averaging just 23.0 minutes per game, the lowest of his career (not counting his injury-shortened one-game rookie season). He’s been squeezed in the rotation by the emergence of Kyle Kuzma and things appear to be getting increasingly ugly behind the scenes for the Lakers.

The team has already reportedly made Randle available by trade, and here are a few teams who could absolutely use his services.

. . . Dallas Mavericks. 5. team. 79

The Mavericks have a foot in two worlds — fighting to stay competitive for whatever time Dirk Nowitzki has left, while simultaneously planning for a future that could probably use a significant tear-down. The Mavericks have some talented young players on the team but just as many aging and expensive veterans. A some point soon this roster will begin a dramatic overhaul and this February seems as good a time as any.

Dennis Smith Jr. seems entrenched as the point guard of the future and Dallas seems committed to Harrison Barnes on the wing. Beyond that, there isn’t much on this roster that can be assumed to be part of the team’s next competitive iteration. Acquiring someone like Randle could give Dallas some beef on the glass and an offensive threat to occupy the middle of the floor as Dirk fades out. Randle is obviously not the shooter Dirk is, but his face-up game and passing from the elbows can make him effective from similar areas of the floor.

Dallas has the cap space to re-up Randle this summer and could send out Nerlens Noel, who they seem determined to ignore. Noel could be cut loose by the Lakers for cap space, or potentially retained if Los Angeles can’t lure two top-tier free agents.