Most players would be thrilled with having the chance to play side by side with LeBron James, as it would give them a huge shot at winning an NBA Championship.
Then again, having LeBron James on your team also means that, unless you’re a superstar, you’re not going to get many touches in the offense, which can hurt your development if you’re a lottery pick trying to make a name for yourself.
That seemed to be the case with Julius Randle, as, according to Ricky O’Donnell of SB Nation, he asked the Lakers to allow him to enter unrestricted free agency as soon as he found out that The King had verbally agreed to join the team.
“When LeBron James committed to the Lakers on the first day of free agency in the summer of 2018, Randle asked the franchise to allow him to become an unrestricted free agent,” O’Donnell reported.
That was a bit of a bold move by Randle, whose Lakers career was tainted by his gruesome leg injury and the team’s struggles as a whole. But, notably, it was the right move for him as well.
Randle blossomed with the New Orleans Pelicans and earned a big contract with the New York Knicks. Fast-forward to today, and he’s the biggest star in the Madison Square Garden right now and looks poised to get the first All-Star nod of his young career.
Julius Randle endured a huge injury and a lot of criticism and he’s now silenced his critics. Averaging career bests in points (23.1), rebounds (11.0), and assists (5.6), it seems like the former University of Kentucky stalwart has finally found his place.
Needless to say, he would’ve been just another role player had he decided to say with the Lakers, although he would’ve had a ring by now. I bet he doesn’t have any regrets.