New Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton says he plans to run a Warriors-like offense with his new team, and at least one member of that group is already excited about it. Julius Randle told Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News that he believes playing under Walton in that style of offense will be a boon to his game, and it's easy to see why.
Randle was cast by some as a Zach Randolph-type of player coming into the league because of his similar size and build, but that comparison is fairly far off. Yes, Randle is burly and can make defenders bounce off of him, but he is at his best working with the ball in his hands on the move, rather than out of Randolph-style post-ups, something Kobe Bryant accurately summed up in the preseason by describing the young forward as "Lamar Odom in Zach Randolph's body."
Randle is far less polished as a playmaker than Odom was, but both are bigs that like to dribble and get out in the open floor, something Walton will almost assuredly give Randle the green light to do when he grabs a defensive rebound, much like Walton's current power forward Draymond Green does. That should worry opponents a bit, because Randle grabbed an impressive 32.7 percent of opponent's misses this season.
In the halfcourt, Walton's past comments imply he will use Randle out of "pinch-post" sets, another area where he could potentially scare defenses. As a playmaker or attacker out of the high-post with a guard running off of him as either a direct threat or a diversion, Randle would have freedom to either make a simple pass or attack the basket while the defense is dealing with other variables. Randle improved as a playmaker as his sophomore season went on last year, and a season spent working with Walton (no slouch as a passer out of that set himself) could make this a mainstay for the Lakers' offense next season.
With Randle unlikely to play in summer league for a third season, it will be a while before we discover exactly how Walton plans to use him. Julius being excited to learn is a good sign though, and the early indications of how it may look are promising as well.
All stats per NBA.com. You can follow this author on Twitter at @hmfaigen.