The Los Angeles Lakers hosted forward Julius Randle on Tuesday, putting him through a solo workout leading up to the NBA Draft on June 26. Randle has been one of the most common draftees to the Lakers across the many mock drafts, but a report he may need foot surgery could damage his draft stock.
No matter, Randle impressed Lakers executives Tuesday. How about a 38-inch vertical for a 6'9, 250 lb. tank of a forward?
Gary Vitti looks amused in the back to say the least. Also, Jim Buss stepped up his beard game.
Bleacher Report's Kevin Ding penned a column on the workout, which you can read in it's entirety here. Randle addressed the health concerns regarding his foot with media who attended the workout, claiming he met with the "best foot doctor in the country" and won't need any surgery. Ding notes that the workout went so well Jim Buss approached Randle and shook his hand toward the end of the session.
The positive reviews of the workout may be for naught, though, as the Lakers path to the draft is as unclear as ever. ESPN's Chad Ford released his latest mock draft (Insider) and has Randle dropping all the way to No. 10 because of the foot issues. Instead, Ford switches gears and projects Marcus Smart to join the Lakers, noting the team has another workout with the point guard out of Oklahoma State lined up. This could be a key workout and it should be a competitive one:
Given Randle's potential foot issues, Smart becomes a strong possibility here. He goes back in for a workout this week against Elfrid Payton. The Lakers had both players in once already, but they didn't work out against each other. Smart worked out against Tyler Ennis, and Payton worked out against Zach LaVine. The Lakers loved both Smart and Payton and want to see them head-to-head. It will be the third time the two have gone at it (they worked out together in Sacramento and Boston). Both of those other workouts were super competitive between the two, I'm told.
Meanwhile, Yahoo Sports' Marc J. Spears released his third mock draft and is still on board the Randle train. For the dreamers, CBS Sports' Matt Moore released a mock draft last week that has Australian point guard Dante Exum falling all the way to No. 7, past the clutches of the Orlando Magic, Utah Jazz and Boston Celtics (he projects Smart to Boston at No. 6).
Expect more draft updates and mocks over the weekend with a big workout featuring Smart. In the meantime, some more media to enjoy, featuring Randle draining jumpers:
And a post-workout interview to boot: