One of the chief knocks on Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle’s game is his lack of an outside jumper. Without the length to play the center position and protect the rim consistently, and with players that can do those things normally unable to shoot, common wisdom holds that Randle will need to learn to space the floor effectively in order to maximize his fit in most lineups.
It would be important for Randle’s individual effectiveness as well if he could add some range to his repertoire. Too often last season Randle’s prodigious handles didn’t matter, as his drives were stifled before they began when a defender sagged off of him and dared him (usually successfully) to barrel into traffic.
Randle is at least attempting to address that weakness this offseason, and while shooting rhythm jumpers in an empty gym is much different than knocking them down in an NBA game, he seems to be making some progress:
"Where's a vid of Julius working on his jumper?" :D Here's Julius working w/ shot coach Andrew Olson @trainao @shotanalysis. @LakerFilmRoom pic.twitter.com/m5kHuoC5rt— Carrastealth (@Carrastealth) May 28, 2017
Learning to shoot is never as easy as draft analysts and other talent prognosticators would have most believe. One only needs to look back at the last few years and all of the NBA prospects entering the league “a jumpshot away from superstardom.” Usually they stay about that distance from reaching such heights, because not every player can learn to shoot.
Randle should still be given credit for trying, and if it works out, his ceiling as a player rises a few levels.
Harrison Faigen is co-host of the Locked on Lakers podcast (subscribe here), and you can follow him on Twitter at @hmfaigen.