The Los Angeles Lakers are firmly committed to building around their young core now that superstar guard Kobe Bryant has headed off into a well-deserved retirement. They have a plethora of talent, but the young Lakers will have to come into their own quickly if they want to claw their way out of the Western Conference cellar next season and one player with arguably the most potential is Julius Randle.
With that being the case, the Lakers had to be pleased when Brandon Ingram, D’Angelo Russell, and Randle were invited to the Team USA Select team to train alongside the US Men’s Basketball Team. The trio had the opportunity to practice and train alongside the NBA’s best, which can only help their development.
Randle recently visited with Time Warner Cable’s Mike Bresnahan, where he discussed his experience with the Select Team. Randle spoke about learning a lot, particularly from Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors:
“He does all the things on the defensive end technique-wise that a lot of guys don’t see. Offensively, he really just knows how to play the game. He doesn’t really force anything, he just takes what is given to him. He plays with great passion and energy. Those are things that I can definitely take from his game and put them into my game.”
Of course, with new Lakers coach Luke Walton spending the past two seasons with the Warriors, it’s not surprising that Randle would look to Green for inspiration. While Walton will certainly tweak his offense to suit the Lakers’ individual players, he will still almost certainly ask Randle to play something of a Green-like role next season. We already saw Larry Nance Jr. attempt to take on the burden in Summer League, and how the Lakers’ young power forwards adapt will likely be a storyline all season.
Randle has a lot to work on in order to fulfill his potential, but if he truly can find a way to emulate Green, the Lakers will have themselves a fantastic player.