Prior to the start of free agency, the Los Angeles Lakers extended a qualifying offer to Julius Randle, which officially made him a restricted free agent.
By making this move, president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka had the ability to match any offers from opposing teams.
Despite Randle averaging 16.1 points and 8.0 rebounds in 82 games during the 2017-18 NBA season, his future was unfortunately tied to the team’s ability to sign two-max contract players. While the 23-year-old finished fifth in the 2017-18 NBA Most Improved Player award voting, his time in Los Angeles is over following four seasons.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Lakers have rescinded their qualifying offer to Randle, which officially makes him an unrestricted free agent and able to sign with any team:
The Lakers have renounced Julius Randle, making him an unrestricted free agent, league source tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 2, 2018
Along with Jordan Clarkson, Randle was the start of the team’s rebuilding process during the 2014-15 NBA season. While the 23-year-old suffered a season-ending leg injury in the team’s opener against the Houston Rockets, he bounced back and improved each and every season.
As the former No. 7 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft has limited options in free agency, the team’s decision to rescind their offer comes after LeBron James signed a four-year, $154 million contract. Although Randle’s potential is difficult to part with, the Lakers are looking to end their rebuilding process and become perennial championship contenders once again.
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