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The Los Angeles Lakers have renounced the rights to Julius Randle, making the four-year veteran and former lottery pick a free agent, ESPN reports.
Randle reportedly wanted out of Los Angeles
The move comes a day after the blockbuster deal that landed LeBron James with the Lakers. Prior to James’ arrival, Turner Sports’ David Aldridge reported that Randle was not interested in remaining in Los Angeles, which selected him with the seventh pick out of Kentucky in the 2014 NBA draft.
“Julius Randle has made it clear that I don’t think he really wants to be back there,” Aldridge said on Sunday.
Aldridge did not clarify why he believed Randle wanted out of L.A., but Randle got his apparent wish on Monday.
Randle’s role was stagnant despite advances in his game
Randle, a 6-9 big man, averaged a career-high 16.1 points along with eight rebounds and 2.6 assists per game last season while playing in all 82 games. He also improved his field-goal percentage from 48.8 percent to 55.8 percent.
Despite his development on offense, Randle started only 49 games while averaging 26.7 minutes. It was a slight reduction in playing time from the previous season where he started 73 of the 74 games he played in, which may be a source of his reported desire to play elsewhere.
With the Lakers drafting 7-foot Michigan center Mo Wagner in addition to bringing in James, Randle was likely to find his role further reduced on a revamped Lakers team.
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