This summer will be an extremely important one for the Los Angeles Lakers as they look to finally turn around the free-fall the franchise has been in for the last three years. Much of the focus has been on who the Lakers will bring in via the draft and free agency, with most believing the team will select Duke’s Brandon Ingram with the second overall pick. However, players already on the roster such as Julius Randle and D’Angelo Russell have a ton of potential and are poised to make huge leaps as well.
Both players have been working hard this summer with Russell saying that he has something to prove this year. Randle, likewise, has been in the gym constantly this off-season.
The Lakers’ practice facility isn’t the only place those guys will be working as the Lakers officially announced that Randle and Russell have been selected to the Team USA Select Team:
Lakers forward Julius Randle and guard D’Angelo Russell were chosen for the 2016 USA Men’s Select Team, it was announced today by USA Basketball. The Select Team, comprised of 25 players, will train July 18-21 with the 2016 USA Basketball Men’s National Team during its training camp in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Making things even more interesting is that they will be joined by their potential teammate, Ingram, as was pointed out by Lakers Nation’s Ryan Ward:
Potential #FutureLaker Brandon Ingram was also selected to the 2016 USA Men’s Select Team
— Ryan Ward (@Lakers_Examiner) June 7, 2016
The opportunity to measure themselves against other top young NBA players such as C.J. McCollum, Devin Booker, and Jahlil Okafor should pay dividends for all three players. Likewise, assuming Ingram is indeed drafted by the Lakers, it gives him more time to become familiar and develop chemistry with Randle and Russell.
The Select Team also trains with the Men’s National Team which is comprised of some of the best players in the NBA so if Russell, Randle, and potentially Ingram can have a good showing there, it could give them a solid confidence boost heading into next season.