Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle

NBA Rumors: Los Angeles Lakers Running Offense Through Julius Randle

NBA rumors are swirling around Julius Randle. Against the Denver Nuggets last week, the former Kentucky Wildcats star showed off his massive potential. Randle recorded his first triple double in the National Basketball Association, according to the Los Angeles Times. While the stat line was impressive, what was even more incredible was how Randle was capably able to run the Los Angeles Lakers offense. Adding that wrinkle to their playbook would make the Lakers that much more dangerous next season.

During his first full season in the NBA, Julius Randle has developed a reputation as someone that doesn’t like to pass the ball. Once one of the Los Angeles Lakers teammates passes the ball to the 6’9″, 250-pound forward, he has a tendency to develop tunnel vision, where nothing matters besides trying to get his shot. That causes his teammates to be hesitant about passing Randle the ball. Plus, it makes the Lakers offense much more predictable because defenders can sag off of their guys to stop Julius in the lane.

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant [Photo by Sean M Haffey/Getty Images]
Julius Randle isn’t much of a threat when it comes to the assist department. Prior to this past week, he’s never had more than four assists in a game. For the season, Randle has average 1.7 assists a game. Against the Memphis Grizzlies, the 21-year-old power forward started focusing on being a facilitator for the Los Angeles Lakers. Randle ended up with five assists, and he excited the Lakers.

On Friday night, Julius Randle took it to another level when the Los Angeles Lakers played against the Denver Nuggets. When starting point guard D’Angelo Russell left the game because of an ankle injury, Randle decided to take over. The 13 points were more impressive than usual because he shot 60 percent. The 18 rebounds was incredible because very few NBA players can get that. However, the most impressive stat of all was the 10 assists, which gave Randle his first triple double.

Los Angeles Lakers guard D'Angelo Russell
D’Angelo Russell [Photo by Sean M Haffey/Getty Images]
Kobe Bryant is one of the least surprised people in regard to Julius Randle becoming a facilitator. When the season started, the Los Angeles Lakers legend compared his young teammate to Lamar Odom, except that he had the body of Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph. That type of player could easily become a beast in the NBA and someone that is virtually impossible to defend.

Due to the presence of D’Angelo Russell, it is very unlikely that Julius Randle will become the primary facilitator for the Los Angeles Lakers. The talented young guard from the Ohio State Buckeyes can become a dominant force in the NBA, so he’s going to need plenty of touches on offense. Otherwise, his development is stifled. As a potential building block for the Lakers, management is going to want to see him continue his development.

Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson
Jordan Clarkson [Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images]
In order to become an NBA Playoffs team again, the Los Angeles Lakers are going to need to find balance. Not only do they need to figure out how to mesh together D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle, but they also might need to figure out how to throw Jordan Clarkson into the mix. Clarkson becomes a free agent this summer, and Lakers management is said to be heavily interested in bringing him back to be the third building block for the franchise.

Thanks to the injury to D’Angelo Russell, the Los Angeles Lakers might have found a potential weapon that will greatly speed up their rebuilding period. Kobe Bryant will be gone in a couple of games, so the team will need to focus greatly on the future. Julius Randle becoming a dangerous threat on offense is the future that they need to focus on.

[Photo by Harry How/Getty Images]