The Los Angeles Lakers will have big decisions to make this summer, as they are planning to chase big-name superstars. Aside from luring top free agents, the Lakers will also have to address the future of Julius Randle, who will become a restricted free agent after the 2017-18 NBA season.
The Lakers would consider keeping Randle for the next several years, but they might be forced to let him go if they want to keep cap room for two superstars. And if the Lakers decide to let Randle walk away, Evan Massey of Hoops Habit said that the former Kentucky standout would be a good option for the Sacramento Kings.
The Kings have the sixth-worst record in the league at this point of the season, and are expected to get one of the top picks in the 2018 NBA Draft. Sacramento is also being linked to top prospect Marvin Bagley III. This is one of the reasons why Massey is convinced that the Kings should make a run at Randle this summer.
Drafting Bagley and signing Randle would give the Kings an improved frontcourt for the next several years. Randle would be an upgrade over Skal Labissiere and Willie Cauley-Stein. The fifth-year forward could also grow alongside Sacramento’s young players like De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Bogdan Bogdanovic, and Justin Jackson.
With the way Randle is playing over the past several weeks, he looks capable of bringing a new dimension to the Kings on both ends of the floor. The 23-year-old can score inside the paint, and also has a decent mid-range game. After his body transformation last summer, he also became more versatile on both ends of the floor.
Randle is averaging 15.7 points and 7.8 rebounds per game this season. The Texas native has been on a tear this month. In eight games, he averaged 23.1 points on 62 percent shooting from the field, and also posted 9.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists, helping the Lakers win eight of their last 11 games.
His strong showing over the past several weeks is likely making the Lakers think twice about letting him go this summer. According to Christian Rivas of Silver Screen And Roll, Los Angeles should keep Randle, and just find a way to create more cap space to sign two big-name free agents.
The Lakers have an outside chance of signing two superstars while also keeping Randle. They can get rid of Luol Deng’s $36.8 million salary in the next two years, per Spotrac. However, they might need to surrender at least a first-round pick to convince a team to take Deng’s bloated contract.