The trade deadline has passed and Julius Randle’s lumpy face is still on the Lakers. And now, with Larry Nance Jr. sitting in Cleveland crying tears of pure joy, there’s very little competition for power forward minutes. This is the perfect opportunity for Randle to play himself into a big contract; I mean, even if he were out there trying to be Lamar Odom reincarnated and using up all the possessions for himself, what could coach Walton do about it anyway? Play Kuzma as a small-ball four? That still would leave at least thirty minutes of game time where Julius pretty much has to be on the court.
I think Randle is aware of the “more stats = more money” situation because he just went out and scored an efficient 26 points on just 14 attempts, not to mention his seven assists and eight rebounds (and five turnovers and six fouls). I’ve come around a little bit on this guy ever since he turned into a power player down low rather than a nimby-pimby jumpshooter, but those insane turnover numbers might knock a few million off his next contract.