The Los Angeles Lakers are far from finalizing their starting lineup, with the rest of Summer League, training camp and preseason to sort through the roster. Julius Randle is working his way back into basketball shape and will have to prove he's ready to be the starting power forward. Lakers head coach Byron Scott spoke with media prior to the team's first Summer League game and laid out his challenge to the returning rookie, as reported by Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News.
"I'm hoping that Julius takes the lead and jumps on that opportunity to be our starting power forward," Scott said when asked about his plans for Randle and freshly-signed Brand Bass . "But I'll let it play out."
Open competition at the four-spot is a good thing to push Randle. Ideally, if he really is going to be the power forward of the franchise's future, he'll prove it without a doubt thru his preseason performances. Bass was a solid signing to give the Lakers a veteran frontcourt player that can help on the development front with Julius. If Randle isn't ready for that kind of role, having a backup plan could be a saving grace.
Julius is in the best shape of his life and is anxious to break away from the minutes restrictions the coaching staff has in place to ease him back into playing. The Lakers, Randle and fans seem to keep going back to a lone word as he works through his first stretch of competitive play. Patience.