Lakers news: Failure to sign extension only leads to trading Julius Randle

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 05: Head Coach Luke Walton of the Los Angeles Lakers talks with Julius Randle (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 05: Head Coach Luke Walton of the Los Angeles Lakers talks with Julius Randle (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

The latest Los Angeles Lakers news states that the team was unable to sign young power forward Julius Randle. Now, a trade seems imminent.

Julius Randle is a key component of the Los Angeles Lakers‘ core. Alongside Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram, Randle is one face of a homegrown young trio in Los Angeles. However, trade rumors have been surrounding Randle since last season; these same trade rumors only getting worse with the latest Lakers news.

Per Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, the Lakers and Randle were unable to strike a deal on an extension. The main issue at hand, to the surprise of nobody, is the salary cap issues. Los Angeles has stacked up on salary this season, but will be dumping at the very least somewhere around $50 million.

It is understandable why the two sides did not strike a deal. Randle is likely asking for money the Lakers cannot pay him. This could be a sign that Randle will be paid big bucks when it is truly time for contract negiotiations.

The ball is essentially in Randle’s court, as well. Randle is a restricted free agent this season. Although any team in the NBA can make a free agent offer to Randle, the Lakers have the right to match any offer. If they do choose to match it, they would take on whatever contract the two sides agreed upon.

Although the ball may seem to ultimately be in Randle’s court, it is not. When it comes down to the offseason, sure, Randle can play the cards and get the payday he wants. However, chances are that Randle won’t even make it to the offseason to cash that check.

Randle plays a key role in much bigger plans for Los Angeles. Ironically, these plans all revolve around the salary cap. In the 2016 offseason, the Lakers made two of the worst decisions in recent memory. Heading into the 2018 offseason, Los Angeles looks to reverse their misfortune.

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Those two decisions were signing Timofey Mozgov and Luol Deng to a combined four-years and $136 million. Los Angeles already erased one mistake, as they packaged Mozgov with D’Angelo Russell for Brook Lopez and a draft pick.

A similar trade involving Randle and Deng also makes sense. While the Lakers intentions were unclear, now, it is easier to see what they are trying to do. There is no chance that Randle makes it passed this season; they are only making that obvious.

First, they drafted Kyle Kuzma in the first round of the NBA Draft. While he was not expected to be as good as he is, this draft selection did seem to be with a Randle-trade in mind. Now, with the two sides failing to agree to terms, this only seems to be a matter of time.

Plus, the Lakers get the most out of Randle by trading him. With the latest Lakers news in mind, that is the best thing to get for one-year of Randle – salary cap space.

Next: Best suitors for a Julius Randle trade

Overall, the latest Lakers news may be unpleasing to some fans and some fans may not be looking at it as a telling sign. However, if anything, this only guarantees Randle’s departure.