The Los Angeles Lakers handled a minor transaction Thursday, announcing they've exercised their $3.3 million third-year option on Julius Randle for the '16-17 season. Randle's handled his role as the starting power forward well through preseason, stabilizing the position while Brandon Bass sat out of exhibitions for precautionary reasons.
Randle has averaged 12.8 points, six rebounds and three assists per game through five games, looking comfortable while working the versatile skillset that makes him such an intriguing prospect. The Lakers also have a $4.1 million option for the '17-18 season, leading up to the final year of his rookie contract with a $5.6 million qualifying offer the team will need to tender, should they go that route. This step in his rookie contract is essentially procedural.
Los Angeles still must make major roster decisions by the end of preseason, cutting down a 19-man roster to a maximum of 15. Several players are on non-guaranteed or low-cost contracts, leaving the front office with several options to consider before finalizing the team they'll take into the regular season.
The Lakers have three games left in preseason, next facing the Golden State Warriors on Saturday in San Diego.