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Lakers renounce rights to Julius Randle; will they sign DeMarcus Cousins?

With the Lakers signing Rajon Rondo and letting Julius Randle become a free agent, the path to signing DeMarcus Cousins becomes clearer.

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Los Angeles Lakers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers have renounced their rights to Julius Randle, making him an unrestricted free agent.

Randle was a restricted free agent with a cap hold of just over $12 million. However, he’s now free to sign with any NBA team, and it’s looking like his future in LA is murky at best.

Does that mean another former Kentucky Wildcats big man could sign with the Lakers?

DeMarcus Cousins is still a free agent, and the Lakers have been rumored to be interested in the All-Star big man. Normally, Cousins would sign a max contract that pays him well above what LA could afford.

However, Cousins is coming off a torn Achilles, which will have him limited going into the 2018-19 season, and it will cost him a nice chunk of change in free agency this year. There’s speculation that Cousins could sign a one-year prove-it deal that allows him to become a free agent again in 2019, and the Lakers may be that team.

With Randle now a free agent, the Lakers have a major need in the frontcourt, and a healthy Cousins could make this a legitimate NBA title contender. Cousins alongside LeBron James would be a very formidable duo, and now that they have Rajon Rondo, that could make it even more appealing to Cousins.

Remember, Cousins has played with Rondo in two of the past three seasons, one being with the Kings and the other with the Pelicans. They’ve both done well together, so signing Rondo could help the Lakers land Cousins.