April 21, 2019
NBA Rumors: Julius Randle Could Reunite With D'Angelo Russell In Brooklyn Next Summer, Per 'HoopsHype'

Julius Randle has managed to establish an impressive performance in his first year with the New Orleans Pelicans, where he averaged 21.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists on 52.4 percent shooting from the field, and 34.4 percent shooting from beyond the arc. Unfortunately, those numbers aren't enough to help the Pelicans earn a playoff spot in the deep Western Conference this season.

Julius Randle has a player option on his contract that will allow him to become an unrestricted free agent next summer, and with the drama and dysfunction surrounding New Orleans, most people expect him to leave in the 2019 NBA free agency. At this point in his career, Randle definitely wants to play for a team where he can contend for the NBA championship title rather than stay with the Pelicans, who will likely undergo a full-scale rebuild in the post-Anthony Davis era. Frank Urbina of HoopsHype recently created a list of potential free agency destinations for Randle next July, including the Brooklyn Nets.

Unlike the Pelicans, the Nets have managed to exceed expectations this year, finishing the regular season as the No. 6 seed to earn a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. However, despite having an impressive season, the Nets are still expected to find ways to improve their roster next summer. With the team being in a position to create enough salary cap space to sign max free agents, they are expected to prioritize signing the likes of Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, Kemba Walker, Klay Thompson, and Jimmy Butler in free agency.

If they fail to acquire their top targets, Urbina believes that going after Julius Randle would be a "perfectly sensible" fallback plan for the Nets.

"Next to exciting young center Jarrett Allen, Randle could help form one of the most synergistic and productive frontcourts in the East. Also, with Randle and 2018-19 All-Star D'Angelo Russell reuniting, the team's pick-and-roll potential would be through the roof. In fact, Randle is even versatile enough to run some pick-and-roll sets himself as the ball-handler and with Allen as the screen-setter, forcing opposing teams into awkward situations defensively. Randle may not be on the level of some of Brooklyn's top targets, but as a secondary option, he would be cheaper and has the upside to make the move more than worthwhile for the Nets."
Julius Randle will undeniably be a great addition to the Nets, giving them a big man who can knock down shots from beyond the arc. Though he usually plays as a power forward, Nets Head Coach Kenny Atkinson can also use Randle as their center if they want to play small ball. Randle won't have a hard time transitioning to Brooklyn since they have already signed his former Los Angeles Lakers teammate, D'Angelo Russell.

Both Randle and Russell have shown lots of potential in their years of playing with the Purple and Gold, but they didn't seem to be part of the major plan of Magic Johnson, who recently resigned as the Lakers president of basketball operations. In Brooklyn, Randle and Russell will not only be able to compete in the playoffs, but they will also have the chance to win their first NBA championship title together.