With the seventh pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers selected Julius Randle, which was not much of a surprise.
The 6'9" forward out of Kentucky should provide the Lakers some much needed length. Randle is only 19-years-old, but he had one of the more NBA-ready bodies in the draft. Randle only worked out for the Lakers once and had a solo session, but the Lakers were apparently impressed enough to select him with the no. 7 pick.
One thing is for sure, Randle is expected to make an impact immediately.
"LA's the perfect spot for me," Randle said after being selected. "I couldn't be more ecstatic about where I'm going."
Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak spoke with the local media following the pick and spoke highly of the newest Laker. Kupchak said that he ranked Randle higher than no. 7 in the draft order, so the team was happy to get Randle when they did.
"He's got big time skills," Kupchak said. "Although I don't expect Kobe (Bryant) to talk to him (Randle) until January, I think he'll like him."
The Lakers' GM may have underestimated Bryant's gracious attitude. Bryant immediately took to Twitter to say "Welcome Home...from one legendary institution to one epic franchise."
Randle also told reporters that Bryant had sent a text message welcoming Randle to the team.
With just about every analyst praising the selection and management getting the guy they wanted, Thursday was a good day in Laker Land. The Lakers did not have any more picks scheduled in the 2014 NBA Draft but did work out a cash deal to select Jordan Clarkson out of Missouri via the Washington Wizards with the 46th pick.
Clarkson was described as a ball-handling guard, and the player described himself as a point guard on a conference call with the LA media. According to the draftee, he originally expected to be drafted late in the first round, so the Lakers appeared to have seen value and gone in for the pick. Clarkson expects to play in the upcoming Summer League, so the Lakers will get a solid look at the young guard.