Free agent forward Julius Randle has left the Los Angeles Lakers for the New Orleans Pelicans, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The contract is a two-year deal worth $18 million with a player option on Year 2 that will allow him to become a free agent next summer if he wants.
Randle reportedly asked the Lakers to renounce his rights and allow him to become an unrestricted free agent after their recent free agent acquisitions — most notably LeBron James, but also Lance Stephenson, JaVale McGee and Rajon Rondo — made clear he would return to a diminished role if he re-signed in Los Angeles.
Was very important for Randle to get another shot in free agency next summer if he wants it. https://t.co/wPXMzJJOXf— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) July 2, 2018
According to multiple sources Julius Randle asked to be renounced by the the Lakers once it became clear his role could dramatically change this season and the team wasn’t interested in making a longer term commitment to him.— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) July 2, 2018
Randle had been a standout of sorts for the Lakers. In his final season in Los Angeles, the bulldog combo forward averaged 16 points, eight rebounds and 2.6 assists per game. His name has made rounds in trade rumors in each of the past two seasons, but Randle is a talented forward who could have a bright future ahead of him.
The newest Pelican joins a New Orleans team that could lose DeMarcus Cousins this summer. But he joins a group of bigs headlined by the best in the NBA, Anthony Davis, along with a shooter in Nikola Mirotic who spreads the floor for the team.
More to come on this developing story.