Updates from Monday, July 7
Mike Trudell of Lakers.com provides a statement from Julius Randle discussing his foot injury:
Randle on his foot: "It's not an issue at all. I'm (medically) cleared to play." Doesn't feel pain, says he's all good.— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) July 7, 2014
Updates from Wednesday, July 2
Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times has good news for Randle:
Lakers draft pick Julius Randle does not need surgery on his right foot, foot specialists have determined. He has been cleared to play.— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) July 3, 2014
If Randle signs before summer league starts next week in Las Vegas, he will play for the Lakers' team.— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) July 3, 2014
Updates from Monday, June 30
Dave McMenamin of of ESPNLosAngeles.com provides a synopsis of Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak discussing the Lakers' draft selection's injury status:
Mitch Kupchak says the Lakers are putting Randle through a series of physicals this week to test his foot. Right now doesn't expect surgery— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) June 30, 2014
Updates from Thursday, June 19
Bleacher Report's Kevin Ding provides an update on Julius Randle's foot from Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak:
I asked Kupchak to clarify, and he said there is no intention for Julius Randle to have any procedure on his foot.— KEVIN DING (@KevinDing) June 27, 2014
Updates from Wednesday, June 18
Julius Randle is clearly not happy with the report he needs foot surgery, and he spoke about it again to reporters on Wednesday with a theory via Dave McMenamin of ESPN LA:
“I met with the best foot doctor in the country and he said he wouldn’t do anything with my foot, so there’s no scheduled surgery or anything,” said Randle, adding that he would be ready to play in the summer league in July. “I feel healthy, athletic. I’m moving great. No problems recovering and I’m ready to go.”
Randle said he thought a team might have planted the story.
“I think a lot of it is coming from maybe some teams (whose) motive is maybe for me to fall in the draft to them, or certain teams may want me,” said Randle.
Updates from Friday, June 13
Mike Petraglia of WEEI in Boston has the latest on Randle:
Randle said he worked out on his own this morning because there's "less risk of injury"— Mike Petraglia (@Trags) June 13, 2014
Petraglia had more via Instagram:
Carolyn Kyles, mother of Julius Randle, one of the most talked-about prospects in the 2014 NBA draft, disputes a report by Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski that her son will need to undergo surgery for an apparent foot injury.
Kyle Tucker of The Courier-Journal provides a statement from Kyles discussing her son's health:
Everything with Julius is fine. There is no surgery scheduled whatsoever. Nothing. They don't have a clue. They haven't spoken to us. They haven't spoken to Julius' doctor. I know for a fact, because he is my son, there is no surgery scheduled, period, now or after.
Randle also spoke out about his health on his Twitter account:
I never do this but it was brought to me and it's crazy how people put stories out there and have no clue what they are talking about.— Julius Randle (@J30_RANDLE) June 12, 2014
No disrespect but check with the actual source next time before you put something like that out there @WojYahooNBA— Julius Randle (@J30_RANDLE) June 12, 2014
Following the statements, Wojnarowski responded with more information about Randle's foot:
Multiple teams considering Randle in and out of draft lottery have his medical info and expect him to have surgery on foot. It is an issue.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 12, 2014
NBA teams are worried that Randle failing to undergo a relatively minor procedure this summer could leave him open to major problems later.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 12, 2014
Wojnarowski originally reported Thursday morning Randle's apparent foot injury would require surgery:
University of Kentucky forward Julius Randle, considered a top 10 pick, likely needs surgery on his right foot after the NBA draft in June, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
The procedure is expected to keep Randle out six to eight weeks this summer, sources said, but there's a strong expectation within front offices that he'll be cleared for the start of training camp in the fall.
In this scenario, Randle would miss rookie summer league in July.
Wojnarowski later provided a statement from an Eastern Conference official on how this recent injury could affect Randle's draft status:
His draft stock isn't expected to be impacted because of the surgery, league executives said. Several executives said they considered this a minor issue
"He could drop some in the first round, but I don't think it will be because of the injury," one Eastern Conference official said.
While the injury could be a setback for one of the top players in the 2014 draft class, it's certainly not the first he's dealt with in recent months.
At the conclusion of the college basketball season, Randle was hampered by an ankle injury during the Final Four that took him off the court. Tim Sullivan of the Courier-Journal gave his first-hand account of the star forward's injury:
Julius Randle limping as he goes back to #Kentucky bench.— Tim Sullivan (@TimSullivan714) April 6, 2014
Jeff Drummond of Scout.com provided more description of the play:
Julius Randle appeared to turn his right ankle on last offensive trip. Leaves game limping.— Jeff Drummond (@JDrumUK) April 6, 2014
When Kentucky was able to advance to the national championship game, Randle appeared to have shaken the ankle injury and started against UConn. Randle played a total of 34 minutes in the championship game, but once again suffered through cramps, per Eric Crawford of WDRB in Louisville:
CBS says Julius Randle is cramping.— Eric Crawford (@ericcrawford) April 8, 2014
The freshman sensation was a catalyst for Kentucky's offense throughout the season and shined during the NCAA tournament. With four straight double-doubles in the four rounds of play, Randle simply continued a trend, as ESPN Stats & Info points out:
Julius Randle has 24 double-doubles this season, most in the nation, including a double-double in all 4 games in the Tournament— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 5, 2014
At the conclusion of his lone season with Kentucky, Randle had averaged a double-double with 15 point and 10.4 rebounds per game, leading the Wildcats in both categories.
His athleticism and superior play leading up to the national championship game this past season also got the attention of opponents, as Jeff Goodman of ESPN notes:
Sam Dekker had a great quote on Julius Randle after the game: "God did something right."— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) April 6, 2014
At 6'9", 250 pounds, Randle is a dominant post player who has a chance to shine at the next level. But with the recent string of injuries popping up, there might be growing concerns for coaches and scouts at the next level.
Neither of the previous injuries appeared to be long-term concerns, so this could be a similar situation for Randle heading into some of the crucial parts of the draft process.
Despite his one poor showing in championship game, Randle did enough throughout the season to make his mark on college basketball. Randle is a top-five pick on most 2014 NBA mock draft boards, including NBADraft.net, which has him going fifth overall to the Utah Jazz.
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