Lakers: Brook Lopez out at least three weeks

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Entering an intriguing restricted free agency that will likely end outside Los Angeles, Julius Randle is getting a bigger audition.

Starting Lakers center Brook Lopez will miss a few weeks.

Lakers release:

Brook Lopez, who was injured in the second quarter of last night’s game against the Golden State Warriors, had X-rays last night and an MRI today. Results of the X-rays were negative and the MRI confirmed a moderate ankle sprain in his right ankle. Lopez will be reevaluated in three weeks.

This is a tough loss for the Lakers, who don’t have their first-round pick this season. There’s no upside in losing, and Lopez was central to their effort to build credibility for free agents.

Randle could get more playing time, even if he stays in his reserve role. Andrew Bogut, Ivica Zubac or Thomas Bryant could join the rotation. The Lakers could even go small more often with Larry Nance Jr. at center.

Though the injury isn’t as serious as some feared, it’s still bad news for Lopez, who’s had multiple right-foot issues. More stress on that foot won’t instill confidence ahead of his free agency next summer, when he’ll be 30 years old.