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NBA Draft 2014: Julius Randle, Lakers draft grades and reactions

The knee-jerk analysis is pouring in, and the Lakers look like big winners on draft night.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers selected Julius Randle with the seventh-overall pick in the NBA Draft, landing a player general manager Mitch Kupchak said the front office was surprised was still available at No. 7.  Kupchak also revealed they had Randle higher than seven on their big board, making this a comfortable spot for the Lakers after the Boston Celtics selected Marcus Smart at No. 6. Feedback from around the internet has been favorable for the freshly-drafted Laker.

ESPN's Chad Ford, who projected Randle to the Lakers through the majority of his mock drafts, wrote Randle should be a "major impact rookie" next season (Insider).

Randle wowed the Lakers in a workout. He's ready to play right now, and they desperately need help in the paint. He was thought of as a potential No. 1 pick at the start of the season but got a little lost in all of Kentucky's talent. He should be a major impact rookie for the Lakers next season.

CBS Sports' Matt Moore gave the Lakers an A+ for drafting Randle, writing his "attitude" will mesh well with Kobe Bryant while Los Angeles re-tools. Bryant has already publicly embraced Randle, shooting him a welcoming tweet:

Adam Fromal, Bleacher Report's primary draft grader this year, also considered this a favorable pick for the purple and gold. He gave the Lakers an A+ but noted Los Angeles did not draft an "unquestionable superstar" to eventually replace Kobe Bryant with. Randle is considered one of the top talents entering the league and should be a contributor immediately for a barren Lakers team.

Fromal gushed about Jordan Clarksonthe Lakers selection with the No.46 pick they acquired from the Washington Wizards. He had this to say about why the Lakers made a solid choice by nabbing the pick without losing any assets:

The Missouri product can play either guard position, boasting impressive size and athleticism while showcasing an ability to thrive while driving or contributing from the perimeter.

Clarkson's defense needs work, as is the case for most everyone the Lakers have rostered these last few seasons, but his combination of production and potential are untouchable this deep into the second round.

NBC Sports' Kurt Helin weighed in on his draft day winners and losers and also gave the Lakers' his blessing for drafting Randle. He sees Randle as a great transitional player who can contribute now and still be a foundational piece for the franchise post-Bryant.

The Lakers added one high-tier prospect in Randle and have an intriguing stone to turn at a position they still need answers at in Clarkson, all for the cost of one franchise-worst season. The immediate response has been positive, but the front office must now turn their attention to free agency, which begins on July 1.

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