Storyline: Julius Randle Free Agency

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Julius Randle on his impending restricted free agency: “I try to separate emotions from business. I know sometimes they go hand in hand, you spend four years in a place, it kind of goes hand in hand. But honestly, I’m just so focused on my craft and continuing to get better as a player. It’s an exciting time to be a [restricted] free agent, it’s an exciting time. Even more exciting for me is the ability to get better and build off this year. So I mean it might be an emotional time, I don’t know, I’ve never been through this process before but I’ll try to separate [business and emotion] and really just try and enjoy the process and things and educate myself. My team, my agent, everybody has done a great job of educating me on the whole thing and I feel prepared.”

Julius Randle on what he values as far as culture when he considers teams in free agency: “I just feel like culture is important. I feel like having an identity as a team of who you wanna be is really important. You look at the teams who are in the conference finals right now: Boston has an identity and a culture, Houston, Cleveland Golden State, those teams have a culture that makes them successful. I think a reason we had success was because we bought into the way we wanted to play every night with the Lakers. So I feel like identity, culture and direction are really important, and I feel like if you get all the players to buy into that, then everybody has success. Because then you know what you’re working for and how you fit into that.”

Julius Randle on the Lakers not negotiating an extension with him last summer in favor of holding onto their cap space: “I feel like I really had no choice but to separate it [his feelings from the business side of basketball]. I think the extension [had] to be done the day before the season, but I really didn’t have a choice. I had to focus on what I could control. I couldn’t control not getting that extension or whatever happened throughout the year with coming off the bench. I could just control what I could control. That’s just like my preparation, the work that I put in, my focus, my attention, my energy, you know, all those things I could control. I knew that I put in the work, so it was only a matter of time before everything would line up and I just feel like I’m in a better position anyway this summer than if I had worked out an extension last summer. So I guess it’s just funny how life works.”

Mavs to pursue DeMarcus Cousins, DeAndre Jordan and Julius Randle?

Ever since word spread in league circles in March that Dirk Nowitzki would return to the Mavericks for his 21st season, there have also been rumblings that the Dallas front office will look to make additions this summer that can put the team back on a winning track. The Mavericks can create space to sign a max free agent, and multiple league sources expect them to pursue a trio of big men: DeAndre Jordan, DeMarcus Cousins, and restricted free agent Julius Randle. If the Mavericks do indeed plan to pursue expensive bigs in free agency, then it’d make sense to target a primary scorer, like Porter, rather than Bamba.

Randle will become a restricted free agent this summer. Though the Lakers would like to keep him, his future will hinge on how much money another team is willing to pay and the success the Lakers have wooing LeBron James and Paul George. If Randle’s time with the Lakers is running out, he’s made the most of it, averaging a career-high 16.2 points while grabbing eight rebounds per game. Randle ranks 10th in the NBA in field goal percentage at 55.8 percent, and on Friday he corralled his 25th double-double and 12th in his past 15 games.
3 months ago via ESPN

If the Lakers get only one max free agent, or perhaps none, the team’s seventh pick in the 2014 draft could remain with the team, though management likely would want to maintain its cap flexibility for the summer of 2019 in that case. “It would be tough to say no to L.A., honestly,” Randle said with a chuckle when asked how much he wants to remain a Laker. “It is the place that drafted me. I would love to be here. I have to do what is best for the family and hopefully they want me here as well.”

That noted, Los Angeles might also be unlikely to receive those types of offers in the first place, according to Bobby Marks of ESPN: “The biggest obstacle is that he’ll be a restricted free agent in the offseason. In talking to teams, they feel that instead of giving up an asset or first-round pick for Randle, they can just go out and sign him. Give him an offer sheet in the summer and not give up an asset. … If [Lakers] keep him, that’s an indication that they’re going to retain him when we get into the summer.”
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