The Lakers have exercised their team option for the 2016/17 season on Julius Randle‘s rookie scale contract, the team announced (Twitter link). The move is largely procedural, as Randle was in no real danger of seeing the option declined. It locks in a $3,267,120 salary for what will be the third year of Randle’s deal.
The power forward is the team’s third leading scorer so far in the preseason with 12.8 points in 24.5 minutes per game. GM Mitch Kupchak sees Randle as a long-term starter, and the team has made an effort to surround him with veteran mentors, signing Brandon Bass and Metta World Peace in part because of what they can teach the former Kentucky Wildcat who doesn’t turn 21 until next month. Randle missed almost all of last season after breaking his right leg in the opening game.
He was the only member of the Lakers with a decision pending on a rookie scale team option before leaguewide deadline of November 2nd this year. The team is still poised to enter next summer with loads of flexibility beneath a projected $89MM cap, with only about $23MM in guaranteed salary on the books for 2016/17.