Hey, Julius Randle, are you interested in a little extra motivation? Seeing as you’re now Kobe Bryant’s teammate, of course you are!
Earlier this week, Bleacher Report released their 2014-15 rookies projection piece and attempted to predict which of this year’s 13 top rookies would turn out to be studs or duds. The article’s author, Jonathan Wasserman, declared Julius Randle a “dud,” due to his “limited perimeter attack” and says people shouldn’t expect the Kentucky product to have “much of a defensive impact in L.A. either.”
“I’m not sure his game is up to speed,” Wasserman writes, noting that Randle “struggled at times in Las Vegas Summer League, where he shot just 41.9 percent and didn’t make one shot outside the paint.”
If you watched Randle during the Summer League, you’ll know that the 19-year-old didn’t have to settle for jump shots as he could get by his man whenever he felt like it thanks to his impeccable handles.
Sure, just under 42 percent isn’t a great field goal percentage, but Randle was rusty in Vegas seeing as it was the first five-on-five action he’d participated in since the Final Four in March. Even Randle openly admitted that his performances in Vegas were far from his best, though the Dallas native still managed to impress the heck out of onlookers each and every game.
Seeing as this draft class is thought to be one of the most talented of all time, is it possible that Bleacher Report were simply running low on potential “duds” and therefore decided to add Randle to their list for shock value purposes?
Here’s a breakdown of Wasserman’s list:
- Jabari Parker: Stud
- Aaron Gordon: Dud
- Nerlens Noel: Stud
- Andrew Wiggins: Stud
- Dante Exum: Dud
- Marcus Smart: Stud
- Julius Randle: Dud
- Doug McDermott: Stud
- Noah Vonleh: Dud
- Rodney Hood: Stud
Whatever the case may be, I hope Randle somehow comes across this list and sticks it on his refrigerator.
The Lakers’ prized rookie is already highly motivated, but adding a little more fuel to the fire never hurt anybody – aside from the opposition, that is.