Los Angeles Lakers forward and soon-to-be restricted free agent Julius Randle spoke during an interview at the 2018 NBA Draft Combine about how he was focused on finding a team that would allow him to play in the postseason.
The next morning in the gym, Randle showed that he wants to keep developing so that he can do his part to aid in that chase with whatever team he signs with, as the fourth-year foward was up bright and early shooting in the gym with Texas A&M center and draft prospect Tyler Davis.
Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders captured Randle showing off his increased range (including a nice little Tim Duncan-esque banker) on Twitter:
And for those of you with the eagle eyes to notice that the gym said “Lakers,” it’s not the Lakers Randle currently plays for:
That's not ”The Lakers” it's a college gym in Chicago - just a fun coincidence https://t.co/wYgwpjN7MG— Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) May 18, 2018
It's Roosevelt University - it's an NAI school in downtown Chicago https://t.co/1KJfdSl4js— Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) May 18, 2018
As Lakers fans have learned the last few offseasons, a few jumpers in an empty gym don’t mean a new version of Randle is coming, but with each offseason he spends tweaking his jumper and getting increased comfort with it, Randle gets closer and closer to being able to bust it out in a game.
Or maybe he never will, and whether or not the Lakers will even benefit from that theoretical improvement will be determined this summer when Randle figures out his next destination in free agency. Given Randle’s stated goals of signing long-term with a playoff team and surveying which organizations have cap space around the league, the Lakers still seem like a likely fit if they deign to keep him.