Before starring for the New York Knicks, Julius Randle got his start with the Los Angeles Lakers.
In fact, Randle was part of a young core, much like the Knicks have now, that was set to blossom into something very promising, but it was dismantled rather quickly, and the end result was LeBron James, Anthony Davis and an NBA championship.
At one point, Randle was in Los Angeles with D’angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson and Brandon Ingram, but that roster never got the chance to grow with each other and they all went their separate ways.
Russell, Ingram and Randle all became All-Stars while Clarkson became one of the league’s best sixth men. In an interview with Complex’s Mike Destefano, Clarkson thinks back to the days they were all on the Lakers, but he believes it never would’ve worked out.
Clarkson Gets Candid With His Response
When asked about what would’ve happened if that core stayed together, Clarkson quickly came out and said he thinks it would’ve been tough.
“I don’t think it ever was going to work with all of us being there,” he said. “[Laughs.] I think we all were stars in our own right. Us separating and going into our home lanes was a good change of scenery for everybody. I see the tweets and all that stuff. It’s so funny to look back on it.”
That entire core went on to have strong individual careers, so it’s obvious the Lakers did hit on those picks when they made them, and they’ll remain a “what if” story in the league, but not for Clarkson.
“I think the Lakers did a great job of scouting us, finding the talent, and giving us the opportunity by drafting us,” Clarkson continued. “But us all being on the same team, I don’t think it ever would’ve worked out. We probably wouldn’t have brought a championship back to them or none of that, you know what I mean? They got LeBron for us, whatever it is. It’s part of the game. All of us were stars in our own roles. We had to get a change of scenery to let us grow in other ways.”
Every player in the group plays a big role for their respective teams, so things did work out for them all.
Big Season Ahead for Randle
Randle is just one season removed from being an All-Star, so perhaps he could find a way back to that form for the Knicks.
He’s paid like the star in New York, and while he puts up 20/10/5 still, his efficiency dropped last season. Adding Jalen Brunson to the mix should help lessen some of his workload.
The Knicks did try to land Donovan Mitchell in a deal, but things didn’t pan out for them, so they are going into the new season with what they have. If Randle can find his All-NBA form again, then they’ll be looking very good with Brunson now in the mix and RJ Barrett making another leap forward.