Despite a strong showing in the NCAA Tournament (which doesn’t matter too much to scouts, they’ve seen the guy a lot before) Kentucky’s Julius Randle has seen guys jump him on draft boards — PBT’s mock draft has him going No. 7 to the Lakers, DraftExpress has the same.
That would be a good pickup for a Lakers team trying to add scoring talent — Randle can come in and do that right away at the NBA level, it’s the other end of the floor that is the concern — but whoever drafts him may not get much out of him until training camp.
That is because Randle likely needs foot surgery, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
The procedure is expected to keep Randle out six to eight weeks this summer, sources said, but there’s a strong expectation within front offices that he’ll be cleared for the start of training camp in the fall….
As a high school senior in Texas two years ago, Randle missed three months with a fractured right foot. There was a screw placed into his foot that needs to be removed as a precautionary procedure, sources said. Randle hasn’t experienced pain in the foot, nor did he miss any games because of it in an All-America freshman season at Kentucky.
That doesn’t sound serious, other than the whole “big man who needs foot surgery” thing is less than ideal.
If he gets it done, he would miss NBA Summer League.
Randle is a 6’9”, 248 pound power forward who put up 17.9 points and grabbed 12.2 rebounds a game for Kentucky, shooting 50 percent overall from the floor. He is a beast when he gets close to the rim — did you see him in the NCAA Tournament — and he comes in with a body to play a more traditional power forward role in the NBA from Day 1
PBT’s draft expert Ed Isaacson of NBADraftblog.com and Rotoworld put it this way:
“He has tremendous scoring ability within 8-10 feet. Should make a quick impact as a rebounder/post scorer for whoever takes him, but still needs to add more to his game long-term (defense, shooting).”
He’s going to be a quality pickup for some team and should be ready to go when it really matters. Just not in Las Vegas in July.