It becomes more and more possible Julius Randle may not suit up for the Lakers’ summer league opener on Friday in Las Vegas. No, the Lakers’ rookie prospect did not experience any setbacks with his foot. Instead, uncertainty looms on whether Randle will sign his contract in time to suit up for today’s game against the Toronto Raptors at 3 p.m. PST.
The Lakers and Randle have agreed not to sign his contract until clarity emerges surrounding the playing future of LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. The Lakers want to maximize any purchasing power they have in landing either or both of the two prospects, and holding off Randle’s contract would give the Lakers an additional $500,000 in savings.
The Lakers obviously would have preferred for James and Anthony to make their decisions earlier so they could formulate how they will build their roster with or without them. The Lakers also wished Randle could have squeezed in an additional practice before playing. But the Lakers remain flexible with Randle’s debut, a league source familiar with the team’s thinking saying Randle could sign his contract as late as an hour before tipoff and still play. Randle has already traveled with the Lakers’ summer league team in case that scenario happens.
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