Lakers Trade Rumors: Julius Randle Not Part Of ‘Long-Term’ Picture
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers have a dilemma on their hands regarding Julius Randle as the NBA trade deadline rapidly approaches. Do they keep the fourth-year forward who has arguably been their best player this season?

Or should they deal him before the deadline rather than letting him go for nothing in free agency? In a vacuum, keeping Randle would be an easy call for the Lakers, but the NBA doesn’t exist in such a capacity.

The team wants to clear enough salary cap space to land Paul George and LeBron James, or another combination of two superstars who will be free agents this summer, and moving Randle would put them one step closer to having the requisite cap space to do so.

Clearing Randle’s salary doesn’t guarantee those players will come, however, but if the team knows it’s going to go that route, they still might be better off dealing the restricted free agent to be for some type of asset.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, it’s unclear what choice the Lakers will make, but while discussing young players that haven’t been in the happiest marriages with their current teams and could be dealt before the deadline, Wojnarowski said the Lakers were still mulling what to do with Randle:

“Julius Randle, for different reasons, the Lakers are probably not going to invest in him long-term. Does Randle move here at the deadline?”

The Lakers reportedly have gotten offers for Randle, with the New Orleans Pelicans among the teams interested in him, offering Alexis Ajinca and a second-round pick.

Whether the Lakers move forward with a trade like that will say a lot about their mindset the rest of the season. Are they a team committed to compiling as good of a record as possible going into free agency, or are they playing the long game and willing to simply take a pick and no long-term money for Randle?

Time will tell, and the result will tell fans a lot about this front office’s true intentions for the summer.

WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE DISCUSSION? CHECK OUT THE NEW LAKERS NATION FORUM CLUB

You May Also Like

Lakers Rumors: Trade With Pacers Involving Russell Westbrook, Myles Turner & Buddy Hield Is ‘Currently Dead’

Even though free agency began almost a month ago, the Los Angeles Lakers are one of the teams still in search…

NBA Rumors: Team Official Believes December Start Date For 2020-21 Season ‘Makes Too Much Sense’

After the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic set the NBA back months in their usual scheduling — with the 2019-20…

NBA Rumors: Players Won’t Be Penalized For Not Reporting To Walt Disney World Bubble, But Will Lose Payment On Games Missed

Brooklyn Nets guard and National Basketball Players Association vice president Kyrie Irving has led the charge…

NBA Rumors: League Will Allow Limited Number Of Family Members Join Players In Orlando Bubble

The NBA seems to be on the verge of taking one step closer to a return to the 2019-20 regular season by…