The young Los Angeles Lakers took a major step forward in their development during the 2018 season. Despite their majority of core players having just a couple years of experience or less, led by the likes of Julius Randle, Brandon Ingram, and Kyle Kuzma, the team jumped from 26 to 35 wins.
The team was more competitive than many believed it would be, and one thing that stood out was the chemistry between the young players. The core really seemed to connect both on and off the court, allowing them to push each other constantly.
Randle definitely noticed it and believed the team’s ability to communicate with one other was big in building that chemistry, he explained during an appearance on “The Woj Pod with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski:”
“It’s tough for young players, the communication aspect. But we didn’t mind getting on each other, we didn’t mind communicating. Everybody brought something to the table, everybody believed in each other and trusted each other. That comes from communication. So it definitely was a chemistry that we all had. Guys grew up fast, for sure.”
What Randle is talking about often takes years for teams to develop, but it seemed like this team had it from the beginning. It started with Kuzma and Lonzo Ball in Summer League and just translated to the rest of the team once the regular season started.
The bond and chemistry the Lakers had is apparent, but whether Randle sticks around to continue to build it remains to be seen. Randle is a restricted free agent this summer and early indications sound as if his representatives and the Lakers front office are on different pages.
Randle is coming off the best season of his young career, but with the Lakers having eyes for some big names, and Randle likely to generate some interest on the free agent market, he could very well have played his last game for the organization.
It’s not necessarily what Randle and head coach Luke Walton are hopeful for, as both expressed a strong desire the Lakers remain the team he plays for.
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