Julius Randle should totally be in the mix for the Most Improved Player award this season, as even though Pascal Siakam may be leading the race for that accolade, he still turned a lot of heads this year.
Randle proved the Lakers and Magic Johnson wrong all season long with his great performances in both ends of the hardwood and he played his heart out even with the New Orleans Pelicans out of the playoff picture.
He’s a hustler, a guy that makes terrific reads, and even an underrated ball handler, and with his averages of 21.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game on 52% shooting, he definitely earned a huge paycheck. But, where should he actually sign next season? Let’s break it down:
5. Los Angeles Clippers
The Los Angeles Clippers are just a superstar away from being the best team in the league, and while it’s still pretty early in Randle’s career to label him that way, signing him is only going to take them forward.
A Randle-Harrell frontcourt could give up some size, but make of for it with top-notch grit, grind, and hustle. He’s a great scorer and an underrated defender, and Doc Rivers could turn him into the next Blake Griffin.
4. Indiana Pacers
The Indiana Pacers are likely to lose a lot of key players in the offseason, with most of their starters set to become free agents, so they’ll still have enough cap space to make a run at Randle.
Myles Turner is already a top-tier rim protector and has some range so he could play as a power forward on offense and guard centers on defense. Holiday, Oladipo, Randle, Sabonis, and Turner could be around for quite some long time and lead this team to contention.
3. Brooklyn Nets
The Brooklyn Nets are going to try and make a run at some top-tier free agents, but with them not being a prime destination for superstars, they could be in the mix for players like Tobias Harris or Julius Randle.
D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle playing together would be great for the team in the long run, and there wouldn’t be many frontcourts in the league as physical as one featuring him and Jarrett Allen.
2. Atlanta Hawks
Even though the Atlanta Hawks were dealt a huge blow in the NBA Draft lottery when they got the 8th overall pick, they could still make the most of this summer to take their team back to the playoffs.
John Collins has made great strides and with his new-found range, a Randle-Collins beauty would be a treat to the eyes. Also, with Trae Young running the point, this team could be unstoppable in the pick and roll with their three young stars.
1. Dallas Mavericks
The Dallas Mavericks have been looking for a starting big man for years, and now that Dirk Nowitzki has finally decided to retire, they have a vacancy at the power forward spot just a handful of players could fill.
The Doncic-Porzingis experiment could be one for the ages, and adding Randle into the mix could make the Mavericks fun as hell for many years to come. They’d still be a couple of seasons away from contending, but it would definitely be a step in the right direction.