Lakers News: John Calipari Tweets Support For Julius Randle
Lakers Rumors: John Calipari An ‘intriguing’ Coaching Candidate For L.a.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

This isn’t the way that Julius Randle pictured the season going. His rookie contract expires at the end of the season, and the Los Angeles Lakers opted not to come to an agreement on an extension, instead preferring to keep their options open heading into free agency.

With his next contract on the line, Randle spent the summer getting himself into ridiculous shape, hoping to turn heads during the most important season of his young career.

However, despite starting at power forward for the Lakers for the previous two seasons, Randle watched as Larry Nance Jr. took over that role this season. Even when Nance went out due to injury, head coach Luke Walton preferred to slide rookie Kyle Kuzma into the starting lineup. Randle, meanwhile, was asked to learn a new role: backup center.

It wasn’t an easy transition, but after some initial struggles, Randle has thrived. Former coach John Calipari, who Randle played for during his lone college season at Kentucky, took to Twitter to compliment his former player for how he has handled the situation:

Randle has certainly proven himself more than capable of being the team’s backup center, though one would have to imagine that he would prefer to start.

This leaves the Lakers in an interesting predicament. If Randle is unhappy in his role, then some have speculated that they could look to trade him before the deadline rather than have to make a difficult decision in restricted free agency next summer. At this point, it’s anyone’s guess whether or not the bruising big man will be wearing purple and gold by the end of the season.

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