Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images
2013-14 stats (NCAA, with Kentucky): 40 GP, 33.8 MPG, 15.0 PPG, 10.4 RPG, 1.4 APG, 0.8 BPG, 0.5 SPG, 50.1 FG%, 16.7 3P%, 70.6 FT%
2014-15 stat projection: 72 GP, 20.6 MPG, 10.9 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 1.1 APG, 0.5 BPG, 0.3 SPG, 46.8 FG%, 10.0 3P%, 71.4 FT%
L.A. brought in Boozer and Davis after drafting Julius Randle, but the seventh overall draft pick is still the most talented power forward on the roster.
As is the case with most rookies, though, Randle will need to refine his skills before he can put them to best use on the court.
At 6'9", 250 pounds, he has the nimbleness and comfort putting the ball on the floor to work well as a face-up forward. However—and you can probably guess what's coming at this point—Randle isn't effective enough as a mid-range shooter to maximize his effectiveness with this approach.
Per Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman:
Right now, he just has little to no confidence in his shooting stroke. Randle didn't tell me this. I know it from watching him pass on open jumpers for more difficult shots closer to the basket.
And I know it because he took just 1.3 jumpers a game and converted only 17.3 percent of them at Kentucky, per DraftExpress' Derek Bodner via Synergy Sports Technology.
He'll still be able to throw his weight around under the rim, though not with the bull-in-a-china-shop advantage he had in college. No matter, because his speed will be his biggest edge, not his size.
Though he'll be unpleasant to body up, Randle is scarily fast for a guy with Zach Randolph's build. Combine that with a high motor and a nose for the ball, and he'll be an active and effective rebounder from day one.
There will be games in which that athleticism is all he needs to succeed, but more often than not he'll have his preferred spots denied and his production limited. Randle will someday be L.A.'s starter at power forward in the playoffs, but in 2014-15 don't expect him to start or the Lakers to succeed just yet.