Comparing Julius Randle to Draymond Green was a thing well before Luke Walton became head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, but the idea of Julius filling that role has only intensified since.
That makes plenty of sense considering Walton watched Green become one of the best players in the NBA while he was with the Golden State Warriors. If he could only impart some of what helped Green turn the corner into becoming an elite, versatile big man, the Lakers would be better off for it.
It sounds like the duo of Walton and Randle definitely have that sort of goal in mind, and have spent time watching “a lot” of film featuring Green over the past year. Luke joined Zach Lowe’s The Lowe Post podcast and delved into how the Lakers are hoping to develop their very own Draymond.
“We've sat down and watched a lot of Draymond film together, and Julius and Draymond have even spoke on the phone a few times. Draymond is a fan of his too. He thinks he's going to be a really good player, and so they've talked on the phone. And we sit down and watch film, as far as what his reads are, when he's coming off, he's into it.
“He wants to get better, he wants to learn. I'm hoping that it is going to be a big year for him,” Walton said.
From the looks of things from Randle this summer, he’s very much preparing for a monster year. Julius has been shredding body fat like crazy, which you can check out over here, and looks like he’s in the best shape of his life.
That’s something Julius knows will be important for his game playing alongside Lonzo Ball, who’s going to push the pace. Randle spoke with NBA TV during summer league and alluded to needing to get into better shape now that he’s seen how Ball runs the offense.
Walton discussed how hard Randle’s been working, as well as the fact that his outside shot is looking “much better.”
“He's shredded right now. He's been working out two to three times a day. His three-point shot looks much better. The way he's flying up and down the court. We were doing one on one drills the other day, and guards couldn't even get shots off because he's just moving that much quicker. And he was already one of the quickest players in the league before he put on this new training.
“I envision with the way we play, with the way we're going to be playing next year and guys flying down the wings and Lonzo looking up to throw ahead, and any time you can beat your man, I envision him just outrunning people all day,” Walton said.
Randle is in a contract year, with the Lakers able to make him a restricted free agent by offering him a $5.6 million tender next summer. A big year with Lonzo, and signs of improving his jumper from 15’ and beyond, can go a long way in making him not only play like Draymond, but get paid like Draymond.