Kings Free Agency Target Profile: Julius Randle
Welcome to KHTK’s Kings free agency profiles! Here we’ll be breaking down some of the top players the Kings should target in free agency, analyzing their career numbers, fit with the Kings and potential downsides. We’ll also assign a priority score to each player, signifying how strongly the Kings should consider pursuing a given free agent.
Julius Randle was drafted seventh overall in the 2014 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers and holds career averages of 15.4 points, 8.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. After missing all but one game in 2014-15 due to an injury sustained in his first NBA game, the former Kentucky Wildcat has played in at least 73 games in each season since. Last summer, the 6’9″ forward signed with the New Orleans Pelicans for $8.6 million with a $9 million player-option for 2019-20. Randle declined his option and is looking to ink a big deal this summer after a monster year that saw him average 21.4 points, 8.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists on 52 percent shooting.
Randle’s career high in attempted three-pointers was 63 before the 2018-19 season. Randle last year made 67 out of 195 threes. That’s a 34 percent clip from downtown. That would bode well for a Kings offense that loves to shoot from distance. Randle’s inside scoring would also benefit the Sacramento offense. 784 of his 1,089 shot attempts last season came from 10-feet from the basket or closer. He shot 58.9 percent from 10-feet or less.
As far as a fit goes, Randle plays the same position as Marvin Bagley III and has a very similar play style, which is to make a living in the paint with some touch from the perimeter. The Kings would have to work out who plays center and who plays power forward, but having two ultra-talented players is worth that minor headache.
Randle is going to be a hot commodity this summer. He assuredly will get the payday he has been looking for. After making $8 million in 2018-19, it isn’t out of the question to see that number doubled as stretch fours that can rebound are needed by every team in the league. Randle is a very appealing talent, but with Bagley slotted in as Sacramento’s power forward of the future, the Kings might want to commit that type of money to an area of need like starting center and their bench.
If Sacramento had a vacancy at power forward, this is an easy choice: pay the man. But the Kings have their guy, and his name is Marvin Bagley III. Sure, there are scenarios where Bagley and Randle could coexist, but in the end, Vlade Divac is unlikely to commit big money to an area that doesn’t need help.
Priority score: 4/10