In his 3rd season in the NBA, south paw Julius Randle is putting on quite a show. Drafted 7th overall in the 2014 NBA draft out of the NBA breeding factory, University of Kentucky, expectations were extremely high out of the gate. After breaking his leg in his NBA debut, the nifty big man has bounced back strong and is officially coming in on his own.
Exactly one game over the halfway mark, Randle has three triple doubles on the season. Randle is one of only six players to record multiple triple doubles on the season.
Randle averages the most assists per game on the Lakers (3.8 apg) and rebounds (8.7 rpg). He has the highest field goal percentage as well (49.2%) and averages scoring 13.7 ppg.
The man is simply balling out. It’s safe to say he’s nowhere near being the greatest Laker of all time, but can he be considered the greatest Laker leftie of all time?!
The list of lefty greats for the Lakers isn’t too long. Not too many people come to mind, but there are still a number of standouts. Let’s explore some Laker lefties of the past.
Lamar Odom. Lamar spent seven years with the Lakers. He actually averaged a double-double in two seasons with the Lakers (04-05 season and 07-08 season). He averaged 15.2 ppg and 10.2 rpg in the 04-05 season and 14.2 ppg along with 10.6 rpg in the 07-08 season. During his Laker tenure, he was a solid contributor to two championship teams.
Sam Perkins. Perkins only played two and a half seasons with the Lakers but he put in some quality work. He averaged a career high 16.5 ppg on the Lakers in the 91-92 season. Beyond numbers, Perkins is recognized as one of the power forwards to help revolutionize the game. His shooting ability helped make his position more flexible. Randle can thank Perkins for his contributions.
Nick Van Exel. Van Exel was certainly a fan favorite and might just have Randle beat as the Lakers greatest lefty (for now). Van Exel spend the beginning of his career on the Lakers and put in five memorable years of work. He eventually made his first all star game in his fifth season. Nick named “Nick the quick”, Van Exel won over a lot of Laker fans with his clutch play late in games.
Gail Goodrich. Goodrich played way back in the 60s/70s and he must not be forgotten. He made four all star games in five seasons as a Laker and was quite the standout at the shooting guard position. He peaked in the 73-74 season averaging 25.3 ppg over a full 82 games played.
Randle is certainly right up there as one of the greatest Laker lefties already. If he can elevate his game just a bit more, will he go down as the lefty GOAT?