D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle are back from their time training with Team USA as part of the select team, but it sounds like they gained at least one fan during their stint in Las Vegas. Indiana Pacers forward Paul George singled out those two players as guys that impressed him during the national team’s training camp.
“I think LA’s two young bucks— Julius and D’Angelo— and Devin, I think those three guys, we got after them,” George told Michael Pina of Bleacher Report when asked if anyone from Team USA “stood out” to him. “They made turnovers, they looked bad at times, but what I like most about them is they weren’t scared.”
Before we go any further, it should be noted that Russell, Randle, and George all share an agent, per Real GM, so the praise should (possibly) be taken with a grain of salt.
However, instead of getting conspiratorial, it’s just as likely that George actually was impressed by Russell and Randle’s lack of fear. Russell was certainly fearless when taking it to anyone put in front of him during drills, and both he and Randle were praised by Gregg Popovich for their play during camp as well.
No, this isn’t some guarantee that George is coming to the Lakers when he next enters free agency, but Russell, Randle, and the rest of the team’s young core starting to impress the rest of the league on stages like this will certainly help the Lakers in their efforts to recruit free agents over the next several offseasons. George may be one of the first ones to shout them out, but if they continue to develop on their current track, he won’t be the last.
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