At a news conference on Friday, Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak tried to temper the expectations for Los Angeles’ first round draftee Julius Randle, Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times reports. “Julius is still 19 years old,” Kupchak said. “You wouldn’t know that by looking at him, because he’s really a well-developed, big, strong, athletic kid. Over the years, I’ve never looked at a rookie and said, ‘Hey, this guy’s gonna bring us to the top.’ It doesn’t do any good to have high expectations.” Kupchak also said Randle would have to earn the starting job from Carlos Boozer, Pincus relays.
Here’s more from the Pacific Division:
- When asked if Randle could see time at small forward, Kupchak said, “He can defend small forwards. Do I see him right now as the prototypical small forward? Probably not. But I could see him bringing the ball up the court. I could see him seeing a gap, getting a step on a guy and making a play — whether it’s finishing or finding somebody that’s open. Those are ball-handling skills that you wouldn’t see power forwards have very often.”
- Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro said the team specifically targeted Ramon Sessions early in free agency, and that their summer dealings were designed to free up money to sign him, Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee reports (Twitter link).
- D’Alessandro also spoke about new addition Ryan Hollins, and how his presence could allow Sacramento to play DeMarcus Cousins at power forward at times, tweets Jones. This possibility might keep a few stretch-fours up at night wondering how they will defend Cousins in the post.
- Rookie Warriors head coach Steve Kerr doesn’t have time on his side, Marcus Thompson II of the San Jose Mercury News writes. Thompson doesn’t believe that Kerr is in danger of being fired if Golden State has an off year, but notes that another shakeup is coming unless he takes the Warriors to a height his employers have never been to: the conference finals and beyond.