D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle Benched by Lakers vs. Raptors

In a stunning series of events, Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott has benched two of the franchise's faces of the future.

Scott announced point guard D’Angelo Russell and power forward Julius Randle will come off the bench for Monday night's game against the Toronto Raptors, per Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times. The coach added the change will be for at least the next week, possibly two, as the team tries to shake things up after a 3-17 start, per Bresnahan:

Scott elaborated on the decision to Serena Winters of Lakers Nation and ESPN.com's Baxter Holmes:

Russell is averaging 11 points and 3.1 assists per game while shooting 41 percent from the field—not exactly elite point guard caliber. Randle is scoring 11.7 points per game and snagging 9.2 rebounds with a 43.3 shooting percentage.

In Sunday’s loss to the Detroit Pistons, Randle registered his fourth double-double in his last five games and eighth of the year, according to Rotoworld.

Randle and Russell commented on the benching Monday, per Mike Trudel of Lakers.com, Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News and Baxter Holmes of ESPN.com:

What’s most ironic is that Scott is taking away playing time from a pair the Lakers have invested their future in—both were selected with lottery picks—rather than Kobe Bryant, who is shooting 29.6 percent from the field and averaging 15.9 points and 3.2 assists per game and, more chiefly, will retire at season’s end.

"I would never, never, never do that," Scott told Baxter Holmes of ESPN.com last month in regard to benching Kobe, three days before Bryant announced he would retire after this season. "That's not an option whatsoever. No, that's not an option.”

The Lakers clearly need some sort of shakeup, but Scott’s decision Mo...

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