Of all of the names reportedly on the trading block for the Los Angeles Lakers, arguably none has more potential than Julius Randle. The seventh overall pick in 2015, Randle has really showed serious growth and potential this season.
Though there have been reports that the Lakers are shifting their focus towards the summer of 2019, which would lessen the necessity of needing to deal Randle, there are still questions about whether the Lakers see a future in Randle.
The Lakers reportedly have been looking to obtain a first-round draft pick in any deal for Randle, but according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, they have only received second-round picks in offers:
So far, the Lakers have turned down several teams offering second-round picks for Julius Randle, league sources tell ESPN. No one will offer a first with him headed into restricted free agency.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 8, 2018
As Wojnarowski noted, Randle will be a restricted free agent this summer so teams being wary of giving up a first-round pick for a short-term rental makes sense.
The salary cap is not expected to go up as much as originally anticipated so there won’t be quite as much money available for players like Randle. And as a young, promising player, Randle will be demanding a lot of money this summer.
At this point, with no guarantee of a star player joining the roster this summer, the Lakers may very well be better off holding on to Randle and seeing what the market dictates for him. At the very least they will still have the ability to match any offer he receives as a restricted free agent and if something better comes along they could figure it out then.
Over the last five games Randle is averaging 19.2 points, 9.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists as he has stepped his game up since being inserted into the starting lineup a couple of months ago.
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