As the Los Angeles Lakers reportedly met with Julius Randle, president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka ended up renouncing his rights, making him an unrestricted free agent.
Although there was an opportunity to re-sign Randle even after landing LeBron James, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Lance Stephenson and JaVale McGee, the Lakers quickly pivoted and signed Rajon Rondo to a one-year, $9 million contract.
As the former No. 7 pick in the 2014 signed with the New Orleans Pelicans on a two-year, $18 million deal, new details have emerged about what led Randle and the Lakers to part ways after four seasons.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the 23-year-old asked for the Lakers to renounce him following their meeting:
Sources told ESPN that Randle requested that the Lakers renounce him, sparing him what he believed would be a reduced role in a return to the team.
With the Lakers not offering a long-term contract extension to Randle prior to the deadline last year, they were attempting to preserve cap space for 2018 and 2019 free agency.
While it is difficult to part with Randle, Los Angeles has been linked to Kawhi Leonard, who has requested a trade from the San Antonio Spurs.
For the Lakers, the rebuilding process is effectively over after James agreed a four-year, $154 million contract. With the storied franchise signing veterans, they will need to add more shooters to provide floor spacing for James and the young core.
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