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Randle Eyes NBA's Summer League for Return
Tuesday, April 14
Randle spoke about his goal for a return in his exit interview:
"I feel great," Randle said, per the Lakers' Twitter feed. "I have my (daily) regimen. Starting to ramp it up a little bit."
Randle, 20, missed almost the entire 2014-15 season after suffering a broken leg in the Lakers' season opener. The No. 7 overall pick in the 2014 draft, Randle's absence was just one of many setbacks in a lost Los Angeles campaign.
Randle, Kobe Bryant, the now-retired Steve Nash and nearly every other veteran player missed time with injury. The Lakers are 21-60 heading into Wednesday night's season-ending game against Sacramento—the NBA's fourth-worst record and a worst-ever in franchise history. Randle said sitting on the bench allowed him to absorb more of the game mentally, per Mike Trudell of Time Warner Cable Sports:
Viewed as one of the most NBA-ready players in last year's draft, Randle averaged 15.0 points and 10.4 rebounds per game in his lone season at Kentucky. He's slotted in as the team's power forward of the future. Veterans Carlos Boozer and Ed Davis filled those roles in Randle's stead, but both can become free agents this summer.
As for who's been helping him stay mentally prepared, Randle credited two All-Stars going through their own injury issues, per Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News and Trudell:
Bryant, 36, was limited to 35 games this season due to a shoulder injury. George returned earlier this month from his own broken leg, suffered during a Team USA scrimmage last summer in Las Vegas. He's played right around 15 minutes in four games since returning and might be an interesting benchmark for Randle when he returns.
Whether that's this summer or in October remains to be seen.
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