For almost a year, Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James and Oklahoma City Thunder's Paul George have been linked with a move to the Los Angeles Lakers through free agency, putting Julius Randle's future at the franchise at risk.
Both James and George have player options this summer with their respective teams, meaning the option is there for them to hit free agency and potentially sign with the Lakers later this year. For Los Angeles to make room for them both though, it will likely bring the end of Randle's time with the team.
This is something which the Lakers power forward has had to deal with for the past year, but the man himself isn't concerned about the chatter of some of the NBA's biggest stars putting his own future in Los Angeles under threat.
Randle said during a recent interview with ESPN about the subject: "Oh, man, it came to a certain point where I was just numb to it."
If Randle wants to prove a point to the Lakers that they don't need to look anywhere for their next superstar, he's going the right way about it, as since he became a starter back at the end of December, he has averaged 18.6 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 57 percent from the field.
With the Lakers' well-known desire of pursuing big-name free agents this summer, it could make it an impossible task for the franchise to give Randle an extension to his current deal if he keeps on performing. If they don't, he will become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Lakers head coach Luke Walton has acknowledged Randle’s marvelous play and stated that he should keep moving forward to prove the Lakers management wrong, especially since they didn’t offer him an extension.
Walton said: “You didn’t get an extension, go prove to us that we were wrong. It is not that we don’t want you. That is not it at all. Play with that chip on your shoulder. So it was more along the lines of using anything that happens in life, whether it is the contract extension or people who don’t believe, use that as motivation to become better.”
Randle was Los Angeles' best performer last night in their loss to the Golden State Warriors with 22 points, 10 rebounds, and two assists. If he keeps playing the way he is, the Lakers will face a really tough decision later this year.News Now - Sport News