How Fast Can Julius Randle Crack Los Angeles Lakers Starting Lineup?

The Los Angeles Lakers aren't set up for conventional success in the win column during Byron Scott's first season as head coach, but that doesn't mean forward progress has to elude the Purple and Gold entirely. 

While the Lakers largely moved to maintain monetary flexibility this summer by inking veterans to team-friendly deals, last year's 55-loss debacle produced Julius Randle, the team's third-ever lottery pick and first since Andrew Bynum in 2005. 

And in a stacked Western Conference, sources of optimism during the 2014-15 season are likely to be limited to silver linings. The most prominent of which could be Randle's emergence as a future franchise centerpiece. 

But before labels can be bestowed upon him, Randle will need to prove his worth, as general manager Mitch Kupchak explained to reporters: 

Unfortunately for Randle, amnesty signee Carlos Boozer stands between him and extended playing time in the Lakers frontcourt. 

Inked to a one-year, $3.25 million pact in July via amnesty waivers, Boozer provides the appearance of stability at the 4. Particularly after the Lakers ranked 24th in power forward scoring last season, according to HoopsStats. 

Despite posting a new career-low field-goal percentage of 45.6, Boozer remained a double-double threat (he totaled 25 last season), averaging 13.7 points and 8.3 rebounds during his final stint with the Chicago Bulls. 

However, those basic box score statistics may represent nothing more than a thin veneer for a player whose effectiveness is dwindling rapidly. 

Revered for his mid-range shooting capabilities, Boozer shot below 40 percent from both mid-range locations (10-16 feet, 16 feet-three-point line) last season, according to, marking the first time he had done so in 12 seasons. 

While he remained an effective shooter from the...

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