HoopsHype Julius Randle rumors

April 10, 2014 Updates

Despite an ESPN report that University of Kentucky freshman Julius Randle will enter the NBA draft — which seems inevitable as he is a projected top-five pick — Randle and his mother, Carolyn Kyles, say that is still yet to be determined. In a text message Wednesday afternoon, Kyles wrote that she and Randle would meet with his mentor, former Oklahoma star Jeff Webster, this weekend and "decide the next path he will take." She added: "As of today we're not sure." Louisville Courier-Journal

ESPN analyst Chad Ford was chatting Wednesday about the NBA Draft on ESPN.com, and he brought up the rumblings that the University of Kentucky might lose more players than expected before next season. Ford was asked who he thought would leave the Cats for the NBA: “Julius Randle and James Young are, for sure, gone. I would say Willie Cauley-Stein too, but his comments the other day indicated he might not be a sure thing to leave. The Harrison twins have wanted to leave all year, according to multiple sources around the twins, but their draft stock made them iffy first-rounders. While they improved their stock, I’m not sure it’s to the point that they are clear first-rounders. Andrew probably has the most claim, but he’s not a lock. Another year at Kentucky would help. Dakari Johnson would be a bubble first- rounder as well. Ditto for Poythress. I think there’s a chance all of them are gone. There are certainly rumblings that direction. But the only three that really make sense right now are Randle, Young and Cauley-Stein.” Lexington Herald-Leader

April 9, 2014 Updates
April 8, 2014 Updates
April 7, 2014 Updates
April 4, 2014 Updates
March 29, 2014 Updates

NBA executives have been impressed with Randle’s recent production, and his draft stock has increased with Kentucky’s postseason run. Randle has drawn comparisons to Zach Randolph and Paul Millsap, and he has confirmed that he could be a franchise-changing player at the next level. One NBA scout, speaking on the condition of anonymity, recently praised Randle’s game to Basketball Insiders. Basketball Insiders

“He’s a man, and he won’t get pushed around by other players,” said the Eastern Conference scout. “He has the ability to face up and take guys off of the dribble. Right now, he’s left-hand dominant, so he must work on his right hand and keep improving his jumper if he wants to take the next step and really wreak havoc. He should be able to play in the league for a really long time, but the question is how good will he be? People around the league are really interested to see how he measures out – how tall and how long he is. When I look at Randle, I see some Jamal Mashburn and some Paul Millsap.” Basketball Insiders

March 1, 2014 Updates

“Honest to God, people get so excited about Kentucky,” the NBA scout said by phone Friday morning. “And John [Calipari] does a terrific job getting those young kids, but at the end of the day, most of the time they’re going to let you down. And as good as they are, they need another year to learn how to win on the road and the whole thing. “The truth be told, they all need another year. But Randle’s going to be a very high pick, so he’s gonna come out.” ZagsBlog.com

“Randle’s a terrific player but he doesn’t read the game, see the game like Jabari Parker,” the scout said. “He doesn’t play off of the defense. That’s a weakness. Now he’s fabulous physically and he’ll compete and he’s strong and he’s tough and the whole thing. He’s so gifted, he’s going to be very good. But he doesn’t really understand. I saw that three years ago, I watched that kid for three years. “Now Parker, as long as he takes care of his body and upgrades his body, he has great understanding of how to play basketball. He has a terrific skillset. He has to take care of his body, which he’s doing now. He does what Coach K tells him. ZagsBlog.com

February 9, 2014 Updates

Saunders said there is a reluctance to deal around the league because of the perception that this year’s draft class is strong. Buzz has centered on possible top picks being Kansas’ Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins, Duke’s Jabari Parker, Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart, Kentucky’s Julius Randle and Dante Exum of Australia. “Either everyone wants to keep their picks or if you want to trade players, people are trying to get your pick and people aren’t as apt to do something like that — not only this year, but next year, too,” Saunders said. “I think it might be a good draft the next couple of years.” St. Paul Pioneer Press

January 28, 2014 Updates
January 22, 2014 Updates

Ainge has spent the past several months scouting players such as Jabari Parker, Joel Embiid, Andrew Wiggins, Marcus Smart, and Julius Randle, players who could impact the future of the Celtics. Ainge has stacked the organization with as many as 17 draft picks over the next five years; 10 could be first-round picks. The next step is to determine how to replenish the roster. The Celtics could decide to build through the draft, free agency, or both, but those Kevin Garnett- or Ray Allen-type deals are extremely rare. All-Star players who can help win championships are not readily available. Those standout players who are — such as Carmelo Anthony or Pau Gasol — most likely aren’t helping their current team win. Boston Globe

January 13, 2014 Updates

This just in: Wiggins is slipping out of contention for No. 1-2. The NBA guys I talk to say that will be Parker and Kansas seven-footer Joel Embiid. At No. 3, Wiggins has yet to separate himself from Kentucky power forward Julius Randle, Australian point guard Dante Exum and, depending on whom you talk to, Arizona forward Aaron Gordon. So Wiggins, whose fame in high school far exceeded Kevin Durant’s at Montrose Christian (it’s in Rockville, Md., if you haven’t heard of it) could miss the top two… or three… or more? “There’s zero chance of any team taking anybody before Jabari Parker,” says an Eastern Conference personnel guy. “And there’s zero chance of any team taking Wiggins before Joel Embiid.” Forbes.com

The entire Class of 2014 has issues with its freshmen under their first real scrutiny from scouts, barred by the NBA from their high school games. Forget LeBron James and Durant, who are beyond anyone on the horizon. No one in this class is as highly regarded as No. 1 picks Anthony Davis (2012), Kyrie Irving (2011), John Wall (2010), Blake Griffin (2009) or Derrick Rose (2008). To get right to it, as a Western Conference personnel guy put it: “If you called up the Pelicans, the Cavs or any of those teams and offered this year’s No. 1 pick for their guy, they’d fall over laughing.” As James was called the first superstar of the Twitter age, Wiggins is the first basketball phenom of the Youtube era. The most watched videos that come up on the site aren’t from his Kansas games, but prep and summer highlight reels. “Andrew Wiggins OFFICIAL Senior Year Hoopmixtape!” got more than 4,000,000 hits. A 2012 video titled, “Andrew Wiggins has SUPERSTAR Potential!!” got 1,700,000. A video of Andrews in Kansas’ Nov. 12 showdown with Duke, which Parker dominated, got 107,000. Forbes.com

Deep as this draft class is, its star quotient is another question. Setting aside comparisons to LeBron James and Durant, who are beyond anyone on the horizon, no one in this class is as highly regarded as No. 1 picks Anthony Davis (2012), Kyrie Irving (2011), John Wall (2010), Blake Griffin (2009) or Derrick Rose (2008). “If you called the Pelicans, the Cavs or any of those teams and offered this year’s first pick for their guy, they’d fall over laughing,” says a Western Conference personnel guy. Forbes.com

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