Now With Pelicans, Julius Randle ‘Excited’ By Completing Individual Defensive Drills For ‘First Time’ In Career
Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into 2018 NBA free agency, there was an expectation that Julius Randle would not learn his fate with the Los Angeles Lakers until other — namely Paul George and LeBron James — dominos fell.


The Lakers made the first move, one that was anticipated, by extending a qualifying offer to Randle and making him a restricted free agent. The first shoe of free agency quickly fell as George immediately agreed to re-sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The following day, the Lakers came to terms with James on a four-year, $153 million. Then deals were in place with Lance Stephenson and JaVale McGee

During that time the Lakers were also connected to trade speculation involving disgruntled San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard. Meanwhile, Randle’s future continued to hang in the balance.

He reportedly asked the Lakers to rescind their qualifying offer, which they obliged, and Randle agreed to a contract with the New Orleans Pelicans not long after Rajon Rondo did the same with the Lakers.

How much animosity may exist between Randle and the Lakers may never be known. But at an introductory press conference with the Pelicans he intimated that assistant coach Darren Erman takes a more aggressive approach to defense than the Lakers did:

“This is the first time, I think in my four years of NBA experience that I think I’ve done an individual skills workout, did defensive drills. For me, that says it all about how serious he is about that end. And I’m excited about that. I love that challenge.”

Lakers head coach Luke Walton and Randle have both gone on record over how much time the team spent on defense — both during training camp and in-season practices.

The caveat to Randle’s remarks at the press conference are that he specifically mentioned individual work, which the Lakers may not have been as focused on. It isn’t necessarily a slight, but Walton would often discuss working on defense as a group.

Semantics aside, Randle and the Lakers made noticeable strides on that end of the floor this past season. The Lakers finished with the 12th-ranked defense, which Walton said was his proudest accomplishment.

Medium Large is looking to add motivated individuals with big dreams and a big appetite for success to our direct sales team based in Los Angeles or Orange County. If you love sports, know digital sales, and can throw your weight behind an aggressive commission based opportunity than we would love to talk to you. Please apply at: If you meet our criteria we will be in touch!

You May Also Like

Shaquille O’Neal Compares Playing With Penny Hardaway, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, And LeBron James

Shaquille O’Neal had the privilege of playing with a number of all-time greats during his own Hall of Fame 20-year NBA…

Lakers News: Media Still Has Giannis Antetokounmpo Ahead Of LeBron James For 2019-20 NBA MVP

Before the 2019-20 NBA season was suspended, one of the biggest developing stories was that of the Most Valuable Player…

Paul Pierce Details Growing Up Lakers Fan, But Being Selected By Celtics In 1998 NBA Draft

For most Los Angeles Lakers fans, Paul Pierce’s name brings a certain disdain and dislike as he was a villain who had no…

Lakers News: Rudy Gay Amazed By LeBron James’ Longevity In 17th NBA Season

Coming into the 2019-20 NBA season, there were questions as to how LeBron James would perform in his 17th season with…