1. Julius Randle
This is how it should be; this should be no surprise. Julius Randle has held down the starting power forward position for two seasons now and remains the most viable candidate for it. Although Randle may not be a high-profile scorer like Kuzma, or an insane dunker like Nance, he is the most well-rounded talent the Lakers have at the four.
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Randle can score, his shot is improving and most importantly, he can rebound the basketball. Last season, Randle averaged 13.2 points, 8.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. Randle has proven that he can be a double-double machine as well; the year prior he averaged 11.3 points and 10.2 per contest.
Fans should look no further than Randle’s preseason numbers to see why he deserves the starting gig. While his scoring does not match Kuzma’s, his all-around production does. In six preseason games, Randle averaged 13.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. Keep in mind; Randle was only playing 21.7 minutes per game.
Randle knows what it takes to be a starting power forward in today’s NBA and he has developed into a pretty good one. Although the position may not be his long-term, it certainly should be his in the beginning of the season.
With the talent that Kuzma brings, this opens the door for trades involving Randle. Los Angeles needs to get rid of Luol Deng and Randle is the perfect asset to do so. If Luke Walton is smart, he will start Randle and raise his trade value to get the best return out of a Deng-Randle package.