Former No. 7 overall pick Julius Randle was once considered a core member of the Los Angeles Lakers. But when Anthony Davis became available for trade in the summer of 2018, the Lakeshow displayed no hesitation in including him in the deal.
Now, over four years later, there is talk of Randle becoming a Laker again.
The New York Knicks would likely want to move off of Julius Randle via trade, to clear salary off the books. It seems as though the Los Angeles Lakers could potentially be trade partners for the Knicks. NBA insider Marc Stein has recently revealed that if the Knicks are successful in trading for Donovan Mitchell, the Lakers could end up trying to trade for Julius Randle.
“A very plugged-in person in the league told me… If Donovan Mitchell we’re to end up with the Knicks, there could be talks between the Knicks and the Lakers involving Julius [Randle].”
Obviously, a Randle reunion is worth considering for multiple reasons, but how much does Rob Pelinka really want to work with Randle again?
Apparently not that much, as The Athletic's Jovan Buha explained in a recent article:
Charlotte, New York and San Antonio also present trade options, though any deal with them appears unlikely as of now for various reasons.
The Hornets’ future is muddied with restricted free agent Miles Bridges facing felony domestic violence and child abuse charges. Trading for Westbrook doesn’t necessarily improve their chances of making the Play-In tournament. The Lakers aren’t interested in taking back Julius Randle from the Knicks, considering his contract (three years plus a player option on the fourth year) and less-than-ideal fit with Davis and James. The Spurs don’t have much to offer aside from absorbing Westbrook’s contract, which is certainly beneficial for the Lakers, but not at the cost of two first-round picks.
Last season, Randle averaged 20.1 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 0.5 blocks per game on 41% shooting. While he brings plenty of essential qualities to the court, his game doesn't seem like the best fit alongside James and AD, and the condition of his contract isn't much better than Westbrook's.
So, for now, it looks like the Lakers are out on Randle, which likely disqualifies them from joining a three-team deal between the Knicks and Jazz. Pelinka has other options to consider, but he must make a move soon or risk missing out on some opportunities to improve.