NBA Trade Rumors: Julius Randle A Perfect Fit For Phoenix Suns [Opinion]

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Los Angeles Lakers’ forward would be a solid fit for the Phoenix Suns. If the Suns consider adding a young veteran to their frontcourt, Randle should be on the Suns’ radar.

The Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks became the first NBA teams to make a trade during the season. In the trade (courtesy of ESPN) the Suns sent guard Eric Bledsoe to the Bucks for center Greg Monroe and a first- and second-round pick. There have been nothing but NBA trade rumors regarding the Phoenix Suns ever since.

It was widely assumed that the newly acquired Greg Monroe would be jettisoned immediately. Monroe’s recent play with the Suns may have eliminated that possibility for now. However, if the Suns have the desire to add a good all-around scorer, they should reach out to L.A. Lakers about Julius Randle.

With the return of Larry Nance Jr. to the Lakers’ lineup, Julius Randle appears to be the odd man out. Nance rejoined the Lakers fully healed (courtesy of the Los Angeles Times) last Monday. The second-year forward’s minutes essentially cut into the playing time Randle received during the time of the injury. With the return of Nance, Randle now has to share backup minutes with rookie sensation Kyle Kuzma.

Julius Randle was hoping to be the Lakers’ starter until Nance returned. According to Bleacher Report, Randle was already miffed about not being named the Lakers’ starter on opening night. With restricted free agency on the horizon, Randle wants to prove that he can play.

Julius Randle leaps for a rebound.
Julius Randle has an overall NBA that fits what the Phoenix Suns are looking for in their frontcourt players.Featured image credit: Harry HowGetty Images

Julius Randle’s frustration could turn into a gain for the Phoenix Suns.

The Suns want a forward who can run the floor, score, and rebound. An ability to blend in and become part of a young nucleus is another thing Suns are seeking in a frontcourt player. Julius Randle has somewhat of a throwback basketball game. He can do a little bit of everything well enough.

The Phoenix Suns play a lot of small-ball when they move T.J. Warren over to power forward. Dragan Bender usually starts at the four for the Suns. Bender has the height at 7 foot 1, but he does not have the frame to fight for rebounds with regularity. If the Suns can plug in a small yet agile player next to Warren and Bender, they will be able to play at a frenetic pace.

Julius Randle is slighty slower than most of the top players at his position. The Los Angeles Lakers have occasionally used him as an undersized center. Randle has flourished when given this opportunity.

Julius Randle can play in a similar role for the Phoenix Suns. Randle would be ideal for the Suns. The Suns’ current centers are Tyson Chandler, Greg Monroe, and Alex Len.

Chandler gives the Suns rim-protection, but he has never been viewed as a good offensive player. His age, 35, is also a huge factor. If the Suns had the same Tyson Chandler, who was a dominant defensive player six years ago, there would be no discussion in adding frontcourt help.

The Phoenix Suns got a solid scorer in Greg Monroe. Defensively, he is slightly below average. That is due to Monroe’s footwork. Also, he is on the last year of his contract. The Suns have no guarantees of keeping him beyond this season.

In the case of Alex Len, the Phoenix Suns were hoping that he would have developed an all-around game by now. He has not, which leaves the Suns questioning whether or not they should invest in him going forward. The Los Angeles Lakers have a similar decision with Julius Randle.

The Lakers are at a different place with Julius Randle than where the Suns are with their centers. Randle is a good player, with improved defensive prowess to go along with his ability to score and rebound. Randle does not have the sizzle that fits the Lakers’ preferred model. Again Randle is a throwback player in terms of style. The Lakers want players who can put fans in the seats. Julius Randle does not provide that for them.

With the Phoenix Suns, however, the fit is different. Julius Randle is the prototypical undersized frontcourt player, who could give the Suns a rugged rebounder and solid scorer.

Julius Randle does not have the flashiest game the Los Angeles Lakers desire, but he has a solid game that would work elsewhere. Randle is a perfect fit for the Phoenix Suns because he adds consistency when given the chance to play. It would make sense for the Suns to contact the Lakers about Randle.