With Anthony Davis bound for the Los Angeles Lakers, the New Orleans Pelicans find themselves looking for players to fill up the big void up front. One NBA cager who could step up is Julius Randle although the 24-year-old may come at a price. The 7th overall pick of the 2014 NBA Draft is reportedly exercising his player option in the NBA offseason, meaning the Pelicans will have to dangle big money for the former Kentucky Wildcat to suit up once more next season.

Randle proved that he deserved big money after an impressive 2018-19 NBA season. After signing a one-year deal with the Pelicans, Randle put up 21.4 points, 8.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game. It was a breakout year for the 6-foot-9 forward who unfurled an eye-opening performance – including shooting 34.4-percent from the three-point region. In all, he showed improvement in his offensive game which most NBA teams took note of, The Athletic reported.

Given those jacked up numbers, it comes to no surprise that Randle will be one of the sought after players in NBA free agency. For the Pelicans, it all hinges on what David Griffin has in mind. New Orleans owns the rights to the first overall pick of the 2019 NBA Draft and the belief is that they will use that on Zion Williamson who could end up playing small forward if Randle is retained.

Several teams could benefit from a vastly improved Randle whose only other stint was with the Los Angeles Lakers (2014-18). Among the teams linked to the 2014 SEC Rookie of the Year are the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Knicks. As far as the Nets are concerned, it was that cryptic tweet made by former teammate Jordan Clarkson that raised speculations on the 24-year-old’s next stop. All that, however, remains up in the air.

As for the Knicks, Randle could be their plan B with Kevin Durant likely to be stricken of their target list. The 30-year-old is forecasted to sit out the 2019-20 NBA season after rupturing his Achilles. Though there are reports that some teams could take a chance and still pitch to the two-time NBA champion, it seems likely that he will stay on with the Golden State Warriors. The only hitch is that he is unlikely to get a max contract since questions shroud his overall health.

Julius Randle Kentucky
Julius Randle is expected to be a top pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. Reuters