Julius Randle works out for Lakers, wouldn't mind being 7th pick

Los Angeles TimesJune 17, 2014 

Julius Randle got some tips from Bill Bertka, the Lakers' director of scouting, during his visit.

Former Kentucky star Julius Randle worked out for the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday.

It was his fourth reported workout after visits with the Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics last week. He's also scheduled to visit with the Utah Jazz on Wednesday.

"Julius looked phenomenal. He looks 100 percent healthy to me," said Mark Madsen, a player development coach with the Lakers.

A recent Yahoo Sports report warned that Randle "likely needs surgery on his right foot" to remove a screw that was put in place to heal a high school injury.

Randle said that's not so.

"I met with the best foot doctor in the country, and he said he wouldn't do anything for my foot," Randle said. "There's no scheduled surgery or anything. I feel healthy, athletic. I'm moving great — no problem recovering. I'm ready to go."

The Lakers got a look at Randle's inside and outside game, as he battled Madsen at the team's practice facility in El Segundo.

"I don't know how anyone could have concern about the foot," Madsen said. "He looked great."

Randle is a candidate for the Lakers' seventh pick in the NBA Draft on June 26.

[DraftExpress' latest mock draft has the Lakers picking Randle]

"I say only one team has made a big deal out of it. I think a lot of it comes from maybe teams trying to use some motives for me to fall in the draft to them," Randle said of the foot rumors. "I can't worry about that."

Randle, who grew up a Lakers and Kobe Bryant fan, said he'd be happy to be picked seventh to play with the team.

"It was definitely a humbling experience," Randle said. "I looked at the court, I looked at the purple and gold and I realized as a little kid that kind of just gave me chills right now."

[Watch Randle's interview after his workout with the Lakers]

Randle said he's lost five to 10 pounds since his time at UK.

"I've really focused on eating healthy," he said, noting he ranges from 4 percent to 6 percent body fat. That's down from 9.4 percent at the NBA Draft Combine.

In addition to his aggressive offensive game and prolific rebounding, Randle believes he improved as a defender throughout his time with the Wildcats.

"Last year was the first year I was ever held accountable on the defensive end," Randle said. "I can move my feet well, fast (and) athletic. I don't think it's going to be a struggle because I'm such a competitor."

Randle was humbled at the prospect of potentially joining Bryant and the Lakers.

"I heard Kobe was a little tough on rookies, but I don't care," Randle said. "The city of Los Angeles expects nothing but championships. What more can I ask for? I'm a little prepared for it because, coming from Kentucky — you lose a game and they go crazy."

Randle said he'll meet with the Sacramento Kings, who have the eighth pick in the draft, and possibly the Milwaukee Bucks (second pick).

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