Former Los Angeles Lakers guard Nick Young is one of the few people who witnessed the beginning of Julius Randle’s growth from his rookie season. Even though Young is now a member of the Golden State Warriors, he still keeps an eye on his former teammate.
Randle always had a ton of potential, but this season he has truly turned the corner in becoming the Lakers’ best player over the last couple months. It came at the perfect time as Randle’s rookie contract expires after this season, making him a restricted free agent come the summer.
With the Lakers having plans on chasing big-name free agents, there is some question as to whether they will be able to, or want to, re-sign Randle. In an interview with Tania Ganguli of the L.A. Times, Young praised Randle for his growth while saying that he should receive a lucrative contract:
“I think this summer’s going to be good for him,” said Young, who is now with the Golden State Warriors. “When you know what somebody’s been going through and you see the adversity he’s going through — he’s a good dude — when you overcome all that, can’t help but cheer for him. When you hear the talks of being traded, they want somebody else, you don’t feel like you’re part of the team. He stayed focused.
“He was getting ready. He lost a lot of weight. In the weight room. He stayed with it. You can’t knock the man. They gotta pay him. Somebody’s gotta pay him.”
Randle has been outstanding recently, averaging 22.3 points and 9.9 rebounds in the month of March while shooting 56.8 percent from the field.
Additionally he had nine straight games with at least 20 points and nine rebounds, which was the longest active streak in the NBA.
The Lakers have a big decision to make this summer, but Young is definitely right that Randle will get a big payday from either L.A. or someone else.
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