The Lakers rumors for Julius Randle leaving Los Angeles could become stronger due to his team’s lack of faith in extending him. A Bleacher Report article shed some light on the fact that the team had the opportunity to sign him to an extension ahead of the deadline to do so. However, Los Angeles Lakers opted not to give Randle that extension ahead of his impending free agency. That could be a further indication that Randle will be on the way out of L.A. once the latest NBA season has ended.
According to Bleacher Report‘s Eric Pincus, the Los Angeles Lakers could have made sure Julius Randle remained part of their plan going forward by signing an extension ahead of the season. The team could have signed him to a $12.4 million extension based on the report but they opted not to do so. Most likely, that was to save up space for their goal of attracting one or more of the big free agents heading to the free agency market this summer. Those free agents could include Oklahoma City Thunder All-Star Paul George and Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star LeBron James, both of whom have been linked to the team in speculation.
Meanwhile, Julius Randle is showing he’s worth probably every bit of what that extension would have given him. In the 2017 season, he’s been averaging a career-high 16.3 points and 56.3 percent field goal shooting. Just through this month, he’s put up 22.6 points per game along with 9.9 rebounds on an overachieving Lakers team that still isn’t eliminated from the playoff picture. Randle is also shooting 58 percent from the field and has helped carry a team dealing with a variety of injuries. Those include point guards Isaiah Thomas and Lonzo Ball as well as forward Brandon Ingram. While Randle has never earned an All-Star selection, he’s become a solid contributor to this team and would probably do the same, if not more, for another squad.
Due to the Lakers’ choosing not to sign Randle to that extension, it could indicate he has a higher chance of leaving as a free agent once the season’s over. The team that has been mentioned as a potential landing spot is the Dallas Mavericks. Randle was born in “Big D” and might be swayed to play in his hometown area. There’s also the fact that Cuban’s Mavs will have the available cap space to sign him to a better deal. All the Mavericks need to do is dangle a lucrative enough contract in front of Randle. The Los Angeles Lakers will probably be holding out for All-Star free agents rather than being aggressive to match any big deal made to their current star.