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Amid all the chaos in New Orleans this past season, Julius Randle had a career year, averaging 21.4 points per game. While he started the season on the bench, the trade of Nikola Mirotic and Anthony Davis' disappearing act moved Randle to the starting lineup where he really thrived.
Considering that his player option is only $9 million, Randle is all but guaranteed to opt out and hit the market as an unrestricted free agent this summer. Here are the top three contenders to obtain the versatile power forward.
3. Brooklyn Nets
The Nets will be in contention for several free agents this summer, but if they strike out on the big names, Randle will be a solid backup plan. With Rodions Kurucs and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson currently manning the four, the Nets can definitely upgrade their scoring by adding Randle to a lineup that also includes D'Angelo Russell, Joe Harris, Caris LeVert, and Jarrett Allen.
2. Indiana Pacers
The Pacers had an impressive 2018-19 season, especially when you consider that they lost their best player, All-Star Victor Oladipo, in January. As one of the team's with the most cap space this summer (roughly $48 million), they will surely look to add talent to a young roster that also features Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis. While the team currently has Thaddeus Young at power forward, the veteran is an unrestricted free agent. Should the Pacers desire more offense, at the expense of defense, in their lineup, Randle would be a great option.
1. Dallas Mavericks
Dallas is poised to win now after trading for Kristaps Porzingis mid-season, and Randle would be a perfect fit on the up-and-coming Mavs. For starters, Randle is a Dallas native and may desire to play for his hometown team. He would also make a lot of sense on the Mavs as a post player alongside Porzingis, who plays a lot on the wing. Adding Randle to the European dynamic duo of the Porzingis and Luka Doncic could be atop the list of the Mavs' offseason plans.
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