LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The Los Angeles Lakers didn't expect Julius Randle to be available when they went on the clock with the seventh pick in Thursday's NBA Draft.
General Manager Mitch Kupchak told ESPN the UK forward was higher on their draft board. "We had him on our board much better than the No. 7 selection, so we were surprised when he was there."
In a teleconference Friday, Randle said again he's healthy and his right foot is fine. A pin was inserted in the foot 18 months ago to repair an injury, but Randle never missed a game at Kentucky.
Kupchak told ESPN the Lakers discussed the foot. "Well it's something that of course we looked into. Anytime a player has a prior injury it's a concern. But we didn't feel it was something that was career threatening. If he did reinjure it, ya know, he would miss some time. So it was something that was discussed and we felt comfortable moving ahead."
Randle impressed the Lakers working out by himself before the draft. "It was a tough workout, but I think I really had a good showing there, which is why they were really comfortable with taking me."