Julius Randle works out for Lakers, says no surgery needed on foot
The Lakers held their second pre-draft workout Tuesday, giving Kentucky freshman Julius Randle an audition.
“Julius looked phenomenal. He looks 100% healthy to me,” said Mark Madsen, a player development coach with the team.
A recent Yahoo Sports report warned Randle “likely needs surgery on his right foot” to remove a screw that was put in place to heal a high school injury.
“I met with the best foot doctor in the country, and he said he wouldn’t do anything for my foot,” said Randle. “There’s no scheduled surgery or anything. I feel healthy, athletic. I’m moving great -- no problem recovering. I’m ready to go.”
The Lakers got a look at Randle’s inside and outside game, as he battled Madsen at the team’s practice facility in El Segundo.
“I don’t know how anyone could have concern about the foot. He looked great,” said Madsen.
Randle is a candidate for the Lakers’ seventh pick on June 26th’s NBA draft.
“I think a lot of this comes from maybe some teams [who want] me to fall in the draft to them,” said Randle of the foot rumors.
In 40 games at Kentucky, the 6-foot-9, 19-year-old lefty Randle averaged 15.0 points and 10.4 rebounds, helping the Wildcats advance to the NCAA championship game, in which they lost to Connecticut.
Randle, who grew up a Lakers and Kobe Bryant fan, said he’d be happy to be picked seventh to play with the team.
“I know God’s going to put me where he wants me to be,” said Randle, although he thinks he rivals any of the top big men in the draft, including Kansas center Joel Embiid, Indiana forward Noah Vonleh and Arizona forward Aaron Gordon.
“I feel like I’m the best one. I don’t put myself second to anybody,” he said.
Randle said he’s lost five to 10 pounds since his college days.
“I’ve really focused on eating healthy,” he said, noting he ranges from 4% to 6% body fat.
In addition to his aggressive offensive game and prolific rebounding, Randle believes he improved as a defender throughout his time with the Wildcats.
“Last year was the first year I was ever held accountable on the defensive end,” said Randle. “I can move my feet well, fast [and] athletic. I don’t think it’s going to be a struggle because I’m such a competitor.”
Randle was humbled at the prospect of potentially joining Bryant and the Lakers.
“I heard Kobe was a little tough on rookies, but I don’t care,” said Randle. “The city of Los Angeles expects nothing but championships. What more can I ask for? I’m a little prepared for it because, coming from Kentucky -- lose a game and they go crazy.”
Two weeks ago, the Lakers held a group workout with a number of potential prospects for the seventh pick, including Creighton’s Doug McDermott, Syracuse’s Tyler Ennis, UCLA’s Zach LaVine, Kentucky’s James Young, Louisiana-Lafayette’s Elfrid Payton, Vonleh and Gordon, among others.
The team is working to schedule another group workout Friday, which should include Michigan shooting guard Nik Stauskas.
Randle will work out next with the Utah Jazz, who select fifth. He said he’ll meet with the Sacramento Kings (8th) and possibly the Milwaukee Bucks (2nd). He’s previously auditioned for the Philadelphia 76ers (3rd), Orlando Magic (4th) and Boston Celtics (6th)
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