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2014 NBA Draft Results: Los Angeles Lakers select Julius Randle with 7th pick

Randle goes from national finalist to seventh overall pick.

After nearly leading a young Kentucky Wildcats team to the national title, power forward Julius Randle has been selected by the Los Angeles Lakers with the seventh pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.

Randle dominated college basketball early, netting at least 22 points and 13 rebounds in his first three games. Those numbers leveled off as the season wore on, but he still averaged 15 points and 10.4 rebounds and earned SEC Freshman of the Year honors.

Randle performed well in the NCAA Tournament, notching four double-doubles in six games as the Wildcats reached the title game before falling to Connecticut. The big man was limited by an injury in the final, but he still finished with 10 points and six rebounds.

Randle flirted as a top-three prospect early in the year, but fell behind Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and eventually Joel Embiid. He's a bulldozing power forward with good rebounding instincts and the ability to get to the free throw line. There are, however, concerns with how he will defend NBA power forwards and how his perimeter game will develop.

Randle has also had some recurring issues with his right foot and will likely be sidelined most of the summer, but he should be good to go by training camp.

Randle dropping to the Lakers at No. 7 made for an easy choice for the team. He should contribute immediately to the team and could help redefine its frontcourt with Pau Gasol and Jordan Hill both becoming free agents this summer. Los Angeles missed the playoffs for the first time since 2005 and is trying to get back into playoff contention immediately. Randle is an NBA-ready prospect who could be a key contributor if the team is able to bounce back and reach the postseason.