Las Vegas Summer League gave die-hard fans of the Los Angeles Lakers an extended look at what most of the team’s young core has been working on throughout the offseason.
D’Angelo Russell has been developing into a talented and consistent scorer, while Larry Nance, Jr. has been working on his playmaking and continued to improve as a defender.
Anthony Brown revealed his main goal is to fix his jumper, and Brandon Ingram basically just needs to keep physically and mentally maturing heading into his rookie year.
Jordan Clarkson has kept fans up to date on his near-daily workouts with his various social media accounts, but his fellow 2014 draft pick (who also did not play in summer league) has been a little more quiet. Other than making it very clear he wanted people to know he hasn’t been taking it easy this summer, Julius Randle has been relatively mum on his offseason routine.
Well, mum until today, that is. In an interview with Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News, Randle revealed the details of his summer workouts:
He spent most of May and June in the Lakers’ practice facility completing two-a-day workouts. That began with weight training and basketball drills in the morning and more basketball at night. To add more strength and conditioning to his listed 6-foot-9, 250-pound frame, Randle occasionally has completed running drills on a sand pit. He also has continued his year-long quest to improve his jump shot, while making slight unspecified tweaks to his regimen.
The sand pit part we knew about from Randle’s Twitter account, but the idea of the already burly power forward adding more muscle has to be a terrifying prospect for the defenders whose chests he’s about to spend the season crashing into on drives.
Randle continuing to work on his jumper isn’t exactly surprising, but the results of that work (or at least the ones we’ve gotten to see) certainly look promising:
That’s obviously just one shot, but the overall improvements Randle has shown over the last several days at Team USA Training camp have certainly been promising. The third-year forward looks to be rolling harder to the basket out of pick-and-rolls and finishing more smoothly around the rim.
Again, it’s best not to get too carried away by small video clips and offseason workout details, given that basically every NBA player claims to either “lose 20 pounds” or “gain 20 pounds of muscle” heading into the regular season each year. Still, it’s good news that Randle is still tirelessly working on making himself the best player he can be.
Unleashed in a new system with a better roster around him, and another summer of growth under his belt, maybe Randle can finally realize the potential that left the Lakers celebrating when he dropped to them at seventh overall two summers ago.
You can follow this author on Twitter at @hmfaigen.