The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to make their big moves next year and go after big and tested players like LeBron James or Paul George. While they do have a core of promising young players, their 2017-18 NBA season will be purely about development to see how far they can go.

However, there are several players who have contracts that need to be addressed. Among them is Julius Randle who is eligible to get a contract extension. According to ESPN, a contract extension for the 22-year-old is unlikely and that he will have to wait and see what his future holds.

Randle not exactly on the way out

Ideally, no contract extensions would lead most to believe that a player is on his way out. For Randle, that is not entirely true. It just means that he has to work his way to a new one, meaning the Lakers will use the upcoming season to gauge if he fits in.

Also, this does not mean that Randle will not get the chance to get big money. By the end of the 2017-18 NBA season, the former University of Kentucky standout can negotiate a new deal (likely based on his performance). Should he get an offer from another team, the Lakers can easily match that as well.

Randle part of trade talks

With the focus on preserving their cap space, Randle’s name is likely to crop up in trade talks.

If not a one-on-one, Randle could be packaged with other Lakers players who hold fat contracts. The immediate cager that comes to mind is Luol Deng.

Deng is only in the second year of his $72 million deal, something the Lakers would want to get rid of. The remaining $54 million will come in handy once Team President Earvin "Magic" Johnson and General Manager Rob Pelinka start their shopping spree in the summer of 2018.

Dealing solely Deng could be hard, meaning Randle could be added as a sweetener, Yahoo Sports suggested. Hence, the 22-year-old needs to come up with a good performance to convince the Lakers or get the attention of other teams who could use someone like him up front.

Is Julius worth keeping?

Julius Randle has proven to be a force to reckon with inside despite being only 6-foot-9.

He has shown improvement the past years though still lacks a credible jump shot. Aside from that, his defense leaves a lot to be desired. Hence, these are two departments that Lakers’ management will be likely monitor before deciding on the right move.

Randle is battling for the power forward spot against two fellow young players – Larry Nance Jr. and Kyle Kuzma. He will likely get reduced minutes although stepping up his game could give Randle more playing time.