Julius Randle only had 20 minutes between signing his contract and appearing in his first NBA Summer League game. But he played anyway. Randle, the Lakers’ seventh overall draft pick, sat out of contact practices for a week while waiting for the Lakers to finalize his deal. But he played anyway. Randle had not participated in a full contact game since appearing in Kentucky’s national championship loss to UConn three months ago. But he played anyway.
It appears nothing would hold Randle back from jumping back onto the court as soon as he was allowed to, his contract signing delay stemming from the Lakers doing so to free up an additional $500,000 to pursue Carmelo Anthony. Once that wait ended, Randle wasted no time trying to get acclimated in the Lakers’ 90-73 loss to New Orleans Sunday at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
As shown in the video above, Randle posted 10 points on 4-o-f-9 shooting and two rebounds in 21 minutes, showing a mix of potential and rust along the way. He scored the game’s first five points, but he also badly mistimed a jumper and 3-point attempt. Randle appeared aggressive running up and down the floor, but two rebounds hardly fills what he will need to provide in future games.
Randle did not shy away from contact, perhaps showing more evidence that his right foot that is determined not to need surgery will remain just fine. Yet, Randle also showed some rust perhaps by virtue of both his inexperience and recent absence while waiting to finalize his contract.
All of which suggests Randle will develop just fine the more he plays. That next step may take place as soon as Monday when the Lakers play the Golden State Warriors at 7 p.m. at Cox Pavilion.
NBA free agency: Pau Gasol leaves Los Angeles Lakers for Chicago Bulls
NBA free agency: Los Angeles Lakers trying to make the best of ‘Plan B’
Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at email@example.com