The Los Angeles Lakers would be happy to have Julius Randle back for the right price next year, but given their lofty offseason goals, it's safe to assume the impending restricted free agent isn't at the top of their list of summer priorities.
That hasn't gone unnoticed by Randle's camp.
"We still have no indication of where Julius stands among the Lakers' priorities, or if he is a priority at all," Randle's agent, Aaron Mintz, told Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times. "We are looking forward to the marketplace in July, when we will get a clear picture of Julius' future."
That doesn't quite jive with what Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka told Ganguli, which is that there's been "a mutual exchange of interest" and hope that "we can work something out for both sides."
Randle will become an RFA when the Lakers (presumably) tender him a $5.5-million qualifying offer that he (presumably) rejects. Come July 1, he will be free to sign an offer sheet with another team, which the Lakers will be free to match.
Pelinka said he doesn't have a specific walk-away figure in mind for the coming negotiation.
"I think going into a process with kind of a position of entrenchment or here's the thin red line that we will not cross isn't necessarily the best way to approach something with an open-mindedness," he told Ganguli. "I think any negotiation is between two sides. Ultimately you're hoping to find a partnership."
Randle is coming off a career-best season in which he averaged 16.1 points, eight rebounds, and 2.6 assists, with a 19.9 PER and 60.6 true shooting percentage.