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Kentucky Basketball: Julius Randle Introduced In Los Angeles

Today, the Mitch Kupchak introduced their top draft pick to Lakers fans.

Mike Stobe

Today, Julius Randle was introduced to the Los Angeles Lakers fans with much fanfare and excitement. Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak thinks Randle will play right away with this comment during the Randle introductory press conference (Hat tip: LakersNation)

Julius Randle is not messing around. Just like at Kentucky, he has put his expectations for himself as high as he possibly can as a nascent Los Angeles Laker. Consider these tweets:

That whole foot surgery thing looks to me like a ploy to get Randle to drop in the draft. Since it wasn't the Lakers' doctor making the comments, I have to wonder if perhaps some other team was acting as a stalking horse on their behalf. Not likely, but hey, those of you who want a conspiracy theory about stuff like this, there's one for you.

Also, I missed this the other day from Silver Screen and Roll, SB Nation's Lakers blog:

The Los Angeles Lakers got their guy when they were able to select Julius Randle out of Kentucky with the seventh-overall pick. He hasn't played a minute of NBA basketball, but that doesn't matter right now. The front office may not have catapulted into the top-three, but they managed to maneuver through the prospects and land the player their hand-picked favorite. That's a resounding win for Jim Buss, Mitch Kupchak and the basketball operations team.

It seems pretty clear that the Lakers are delighted with the draft pick, and while Randle may not be exactly happy that he fell to the seventh pick overall from a projected top five, I think in the end he will be happier here than at most of the other destinations higher in the draft. Los Angeles is rebuilding, but they do have Kobe Bryant, still a potent scorer, as well as Pau Gasol and some other good pieces. It will be interesting to see how they come out next season.