Coming into the 2014-15 NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers held some optimism after drafting Julius Randle. It went away during the team’s first regular season game when Randle suffered a fractured tibia which forced him to sit out the year.
Seeing how Randle recovers from injury is something the Lakers will be keeping a close eye on. Thursday saw development in Randle’s progression as he was cleared for full contact half court, according to Lakers reporter Mike Trudell:
Julius Randle continues to progress and has been cleared for full contact half court 2-on-2 and 3-on-3 sessions. Next step: 4-on-4.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) May 28, 2015
Randle was present at the Lakers practice facility Thursday as the team held pre-draft workouts. While the team was evaluating prospects, Randle was on the side continuing his recovery and working out with the coaching staff.
Lakers general manager recently commented on Randle while mentioning his belief of the former Kentucky product being completely recovered. As Randle continues his workouts and participates in full contact drills, the Lakers will have a better idea of how much Randle has gotten over his injury.
If all goes well, the Lakers will send Randle to the Las Vegas Summer League. Joining him will be Jordan Clarkson as well as whomever the Lakers draft in June. The team owns the 2nd, 27th, and 34th picks in the draft and could be sending a number of young talent to Las Vegas.
The time spent in Vegas will allow Randle to see on-court action for the first time since late October. The Lakers can get their youngsters to develop chemistry early on as the team prepares to put past two losing seasons behind them. They will be hoping Randle can be part of the team’s future and a central piece once Kobe Bryant retires.[divide]