Power Forward, Kentucky
19 years old, Freshman
6’9″, 250 lbs.
2013-14 Stats: 30.8 MPG, 15.0 PPG (50.0% FG, 70.6% FT, 16.7% 3FG), 10.4 RPG, 1.4 APG, 0.5 SPG, 0.8 BPG, 2.5 TOPG
Measurements: 7’0″ wingspan, 8’9.5″ standing reach, 29″ no step vert, 35.5″ max vert, 9.4% body fat
Cumulative Ranking: 5th | Bryant’s Ranking: 6th | Scott’s Ranking: 6th
Julius Randle: THE BREAKDOWN
Scott: Julius Randle enters this draft as perhaps the most skilled big man in the class. He excels around the basket, showing great touch with his dominant left hand, and he powers through weaker defenders. Randle also loves to get after the boards, especially on the offensive end where he averaged 3.5 rebounds per game. However, I have three concerns about Randle’s game. First, he seems to start a lot of his offense dribbling from the perimeter, yet he hasn’t shown much with his midrange jump shot. Not sure that works in the NBA. Second, there are injury worries regarding his foot that haven’t been cleared up. And third, and maybe most important, does his game actually complement DeMarcus Cousins?
Bryant: The concerns that worry me are the jumpshot, and the complementing Cousins. There’s no question in my mind that Randle is one of the top 6 most talented prospects in the class – a player with his ability in the post and his determination on the glass is very rare. I just don’t love the fit next to Cousins; aside from Randle’s lack of a jumpshot, he plays a lot like Cousins. Certainly, a Cousins/Randle matchup would dominate in the low post, but I worry that the post would become too crowded, especially given the fact that Randle shot only 34.5% on 2-point jumpers. Also, he’s an average defender at best currently and isn’t the defensive titan/shot blocker that would fit best with Cousins. Still, given everything I’ve said, you can’t ignore his talent, and if he’s available at the No. 8 pick (with the rest of the obvious big names gone elsewhere), I’d select him and figure out fit later.
Scott: I’m all for taking the best player available, and if Randle is still on the board at No. 8, there’s a good chance he’d be the top talent left. The offense doesn’t concern me as much — Cousins tends to play on the perimeter (maybe more than he should), and Randle is a monster underneath who can also clean up everyone’s misses. As you said, the defensive fit is questionable. Randle can surely improve man-to-man and will have the strength to body his man. But he’s not much of a help defender, and unless the Kings perimeter defense improves, that could be a problem. I’ll also mention that Randle may hold more trade value around the league than some other prospects if the Kings want to package him this summer for a bigger splash.
Bryant: Randle is young enough (still only 19) that I think his full-game potential does get lost in his more NBA ready skills (in the post and on the glass). He has plenty of time to grow as an all-around player, and hopefully under a defensive coach like Michael Malone, he’d eventually become above-average on that end of the floor. Still, for now, he is a two-trick pony. If the Kings selected him, it’ll be really interesting next year to see how they envision working him and Cousins together on both ends of the court.
A Royal Pain – Sacramento Kings Cumulative Big Board
15. Nik Stauskas – Shooting Guard, Michigan
14. Jusuf Nurkic – Center, Bosnia
13. Adreian Payne – Power Forward, Michigan State
12. Gary Harris – Guard, Michigan State
11. Doug McDermott – Forward, Creighton
10. Dario Saric – Forward, Croatia
9. James Young – Guard/Forward, Kentucky
8. Noah Vonleh – Power Forward, Indiana
7. Marcus Smart – Point Guard, Oklahoma State
6. Aaron Gordon – Power Forward, Arizona
5. Julius Randle – Power Forward, Kentucky