I've waited years to write this blog, okay not really, but for a long time I've been saying Julius Randle has a higher ceiling than Draymond Green. When I'd say this amongst my friends years ago, I'd get laughed out of the room, probably still will, not for long however. Julius Randle is finally starting to garner attention around the league for being an absolute monster lately. Tonight is his time to shine of national TV against Draymond Green, so the world can see exactly what I mean.
Randle since February is averaging more than 20 points per game to go along with a shooting percentage that's right around 60%. He's also been doing work on the boards collecting over 9 rebounds per game in that span. Most importantly, Julius Randle has shown a new part of his game that is going to be the most valuable very soon, his defense. Randle is able to guard anyone on the floor at any location on the floor. If you're a big man you might have the height advantage, however Randle is stronger than most guys his size and won't be backed down easily. His perimeter defense is easily the most impressive part of his game. Whenever a guard tries to switch onto him with a pick&roll they soon learn what a mistake they made. Randle has quick feet and is able to stay in front of speedy guards and uses his height to make up for the distance he leaves between them to block shots. Let's not forget Randle also has sweet handles, giving him the ability to grab a rebound off the glass and take the ball coast to coast. Basically, Julius Randle is the Lakers Swiss army knife, and is slowly but surely proving himself to be indispensable to this team.
Now, it has just been a flash in the pan, but not really at the same time. It's not like Randle is 28 years old and has just got hot the past month. He's a young player that has slowly been developing his game over the years and is now finally getting the playing time to finally prove his worth. Randle was coming off the bench to start the year getting very limited minutes some nights. After all the trades before the deadline he was finally able to break into the starter role and play consistently in the rotation.
As for the Draymond Green comparison these guy's career paths and games couldn't be more similar. They're both undersized big's that can kind of shoot, they both play defense extremely well, rebound the basketball like dogs, and can be playmakers for their teammates. Just like Green, Randle didn't break onto the scene right away. Green took years in the NBA to finally pop for the Warriors. It took Draymond about 3 years into his NBA career to finally find out what kind of player he was and how he could be an effective player in the NBA. Now, Julius Randle is in his 3rd year doing the same thing.(I'm not counting Randle's rookie year since he missed the entire season) Let's not forget the fact that Randle entered the league at 19 while Draymond entered at 22, so Randle is also ahead of the curve in the age department.
Draymond Green is still clearly the better defender as of now, there's no denying that. Besides for Kawhi Leonard, Draymond Green is probably the best defender in the entire league and some might argue Draymond is the best because of his versatility. In terms of offensive game I think Randle is far and away a much better offensive weapon than Draymond Green. His ability inside to score points by either powering his way through defenders or finessing his way around them makes him more of an offensive threat. Draymond is a better 3 point shooter as of now, but that's only because Randle doesn't have enough confidence in his jumper at that range to shoot 3's more often. That'll come along, I can promise that. Randle has a smooth shooting stroke, looks much better than Draymond's, just got to get him to believe in it like Draymond believes in his. If Randle can do that while continuing to just develop his game, I believe he'll be a better player than Draymond Green in no time. Tell me I don't make a pretty convincing case. Please tell me I don't so I can throw it in your face in 3 years when it's not even a debate anymore. Watch for yourself tonight, you'll be pleasantly surprised.