The Lakers announced Wednesday that they have picked up D’Angleo Russell, Julius Randle, and Larry Nance Jr on their team options for the 2017-2018 season.
D’Angleo Russell has become one of the leaders of the young Lakers since Kobe Bryant retired. Luke Walton has trusted him with the reigns of the offense, and that showed Wednesday night, as D’Angleo dropped 20 points on 16 shots. This was after a stellar preseason. It’s a no brainer to pick up his option.
Julius Randle is also a key leader in the locker room for the Lakers. He has not be as out spoken about it, as that is not in his personality, but Julius had said he has tried to be a leader of this team. Julius also showed clear improvement in preseason, as he finished with his right hand and improved his passing. With an 18 points 7 rebounds and 6 assist on 9/11 shooting, along with being great defensively in the second half, Julius was a huge part in the Lakers’ opener. Like Russell, his future seems very bright.
Larry Nance Jr has skyrocketed past expectations. Most Lakers fans asked “Who?” when he was drafted with 27th pick in the 2015 draft. But since then he has become a fan favorite. Nance is a high energy player and has improved his shooting in then off-season. Nance is also a smart player, who usually makes the right play. He may have the lowest potential of all the young Lakers, but he already is a good backup big in the NBA, which means he is worth his option already.
D’Angleo, Julius, and Nance will be key parts of the Lakers rebuild. The former two, I believe, can develop into all-stars. Nance seems like he will be a great first big off the bench for the next 10 years. Picking up their options is hardly a surprise, but it is smart.
For all your Lakers news, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.