The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to let power forward Julius Randle test the market as a Restricted Free Agent next summer. Randle, the no.7 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, is eligible for an extension entering the final year of his rookie contract. However, it’s unlikely he will get a contract extension before the October 16 deadline since the Lakers are trying to preserve cap flexibility for next year’s free-agency.

Free-Agency bound

Randle averaged 13.2 points on 48 percent FG shooting and 8.6 rebounds in 28 minutes per contest last season.

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He also padded his assist average to 3.6 points, thanks to the playmaking freedom given to him by Lakers head coach Luke Walton. He’s projected to improve his numbers as a third or fourth scoring option for Los Angeles this coming season.

Yet, despite showing some upside, the Lakers will not sacrifice the cap space they allotted for the summer of 2018. Randle can entertain offers from other teams in free-agency but Lakers executives Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka can circle back to him since they have the right to match offer sheet.

Hoops Rumors writer Austin Kent stressed the Lakers are still taking a huge risk by letting a productive player like Randle hit the market, regardless of his status as restricted free-agent. “If the pending restricted free agent drives his value to a level that precludes Los Angeles from retaining him, then that’s simply a consequence of the Lakers’ own ambition,” Kent writes.

Bogut bringing leadership, experience

Andrew Bogut, who signed a partially guaranteed deal with the Lakers, said his 12-year NBA experience allows him to become a positive addition to the team’s locker room, particularly for the young players. “I have been through pretty much everything in this league, especially injury-wise, and been on championship teams, winningest teams, crappiest teams, teams with a lot of turnovers,” Bogut said in an interview with Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. “I have seen everything.”

The former no.1 overall pick is coming off a rough 2016/17 NBA season, having been traded twice (the Dallas Mavericks and Philadelphia 76ers) and then breaking his tibia in his first game with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Bogut wants to prove that he can bounce back from injury and provide solid minutes behind projected starting center Brook Lopez.

His championship pedigree, interior toughness, and familiarity with Luke Walton’s system also serve as a big boost to this Lakers team who is still in search of its own identity.