In this piece, we preview the Ivy, Big West, MAC, Horizon, MAAC, Conference-USA, Patriot, Summit, CAA, Ohio Valley, Sun Belt, Big South, WAC, Big Sky, America East, Atlantic Sun, Southern, NEC, Southland, MEAC and SWAC. Read More. Written by Dan Hanner on Sep 29, 2014
Julius Randle projects in the NBA as a power forward, but the Los Angeles Lakers have been impressed with his ability to defend threes and handle the ball.
"He's got super quick feet and I think if there's one thing you didn't see much at Kentucky, as you do watching him every day, is that he's got really gifted quickness, first step, [and] he loves contact," Mitch Kupchak said.
"He can defend small forwards. Do I see him right now as the prototypical small forward? Probably not," Kupchak said. "But I could see him bringing the ball up the court. I could see him seeing a gap, getting a step on a guy and making a play -- whether it's finishing or finding somebody that's open. Those are ball-handling skills that you wouldn't see power forwards have very often."
Still, Kupchak tried to temper expectations for the rookie.
"Julius is still 19 years old," Kupchak said. "You wouldn’t know that by looking at him, because he’s really a well-developed, big, strong, athletic kid. Over the years, I've never looked at a rookie and said, 'Hey, this guy's gonna bring us to the top.' It doesn't do any good to have high expectations."
In this episode, host Daniel Leroux (@DannyLeroux) goes in-depth on the Pacific Division with Jack Winter of Dime Magazine (@ArmstrongWinter) and Seth Partnow of Hoop365, Clipperblog, and the Hardwood Paroxysm Basketball Network (@SethPartnow).
The three review the summer moves for all five teams including the ownership change for the Los Angeles Clippers and new coaches for the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers.
In addition, they preview the season ahead including ranking the franchises, predicting the number of playoff teams, and selecting breakout players.
Free agent Julyan Stone will work out for the Lakers in Los Angeles this week, his second visit with the organization before meeting three other teams, league sources told RealGM.
Stone also has scheduled workouts with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Clippers and Miami Heat, sources said, attempting to solidify an NBA contract before training camps start. The Sacramento Kings remain a possible landing spot for Stone.
Stone held a workout with the San Antonio Spurs earlier in the week, and he’s received two lucrative offers from Chinese clubs.
At 6-foot-6, Stone has tantalizing frame for a point guard and is one of the NBA’s tallest at the position.
In three NBA seasons, Stone has averaged 1.3 points, 1.1 assists and 44 percent shooting from the field in seven minutes per game. He was an undrafted signing for the Denver Nuggets in 2011, spent two years with the franchise and joined the Toronto Raptors last offseason. He was waived on July 7.
The Los Angeles Lakers would be interested in either Eric Bledsoe or Goran Dragic if they reach free agency next summer, according to sources.
The Phoenix Suns have been unable to agree upon terms with Bledsoe on a long-term contract. Bledsoe is currently a restricted free agent and could leave next summer as an unrestricted free agent if he signs the qualifying offer.
The Houston Rockets also have interest in Dragic in free agency.
The Los Angeles Lakers have signed Jordan Clarkson, the 46th pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, whose rights were acquired from the Washington Wizards on draft night.
In the 2014 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, Clarkson led the Lakers’ entry in scoring, (15.8 points per game) and rebounding (5.0) while shooting 42.1% (8-19) from beyond-the-arc in five games (all starts).