Julius Deion Randle (born November 29, 1994) is an American professional basketball player for the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). In his only season of college basketball with the Kentucky Wildcats, he was named a third-team All-American. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the 2014 NBA draft with the seventh overall pick. In his regular-season debut, Randle broke his right leg and missed the remainder of his rookie season. After four years with the Lakers, he signed with the New Orleans Pelicans. He averaged a career-high 21.4 points per game in 2018–19, his only season with the Pelicans, before reaching a deal to join the Knicks.
High school career
In August 2012, Randle won the Under Armour Elite 24 dunk Contest and the next day he was named one of the MVPs of the Elite 24 game, where he scored 27 points and led his team to a 164–138 victory.
Considered a five-star recruit by Rivals.com, Randle was listed as the No. 1 power forward and the No. 2 player in the nation in 2013.
The weekend after Thanksgiving in his senior season, Randle fractured his foot playing in a tournament and missed three months as a result. In March 2013, Randle returned for the TAPPS 5A playoffs and led his team to its third state title in four years. As a senior in 2012–13, Randle averaged 32.5 points and 22.5 rebounds per game.
On March 20, 2013, Randle committed to Kentucky, choosing them over Texas, Kansas and Florida. He then joined Andrew Harrison, his twin brother Aaron Harrison, James Young, Dakari Johnson and Marcus Lee as the sixth Kentucky player selected to play in the 2013 McDonald's All-American Boys Game as well as the 2013 Jordan Brand Classic.
On February 28, 2014, Randle was named one of the 10 semi-finalists for the Naismith College Player of the Year. He went on to help Kentucky reach the national championship game, which they lost to the University of Connecticut. He ended the 2013–14 season with 24 double-doubles, the second most double-doubles by a UK player in school history, behind Dan Issel's 25 in 1969–70, and the most double-doubles by a UK freshman (the previous record was shared by DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis at 20). In 40 games (all starts), he averaged 15.0 points, 10.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 30.8 minutes per game.
On April 22, 2014, Randle declared for the NBA draft, foregoing his final three years of college eligibility.
Los Angeles Lakers (2014–2018)
Randle was selected with the seventh overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft by the Los Angeles Lakers. On October 28, 2014, after only 14 minutes of official NBA playing time, Randle broke his right tibia during the Lakers' 2014–15 season opener against the Houston Rockets. He underwent successful surgery the following day to repair the fracture, and subsequently missed the rest of the season. On March 9, 2015, he was cleared to participate in full weight-bearing, non-contact basketball activities.
Randle returned to action in July 2015 with the Lakers' Summer League team. Exactly a year after injuring himself in his NBA debut, Randle had 15 points and 11 rebounds as a starter in a 112–111 season-opening loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Randle had a solid outing on November 1 against the Dallas Mavericks, recording 22 points, 15 rebounds, four assists, four steals and one block in a 103–93 loss. On December 2, he recorded 15 points and a then career-high 19 rebounds in a 108–104 win over the Washington Wizards. On January 29, 2016, he scored a career-high 23 points in a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. He matched that mark on March 8, recording 23 points and 11 rebounds in a 107–98 win over the Orlando Magic. On March 25, he recorded his first career triple-double with 13 points, 18 rebounds and a then career-high 10 assists in a 116–105 loss to the Denver Nuggets. At 21 years old, he became the youngest Lakers player with a triple-double since Magic Johnson. Six days later, he hit a game winning hook shot in the paint with 1.9 seconds left in overtime to lift the Lakers to a 102–100 win over the Miami Heat. On April 6, he set a career high with 20 rebounds in a 91–81 loss to the Clippers.
On November 15, 2016, Randle recorded his second career triple-double with 17 points, 14 rebounds, and 10 assists in a 125–118 win over the Brooklyn Nets. He appeared in all 15 games to begin the 2016–17 season before missing three straight in late November because of a hip injury. On November 30, 2016, he had 13 points and matched a career-high with 20 rebounds in a 96–90 win over the Chicago Bulls. On January 3, 2017, Randle recorded his third career triple-double with 19 points, 14 rebounds and a career-high 11 assists in a 116–102 win over the Memphis Grizzlies. On March 7, 2017, he recorded his fourth career triple-double with 13 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists in a 122–111 loss to the Dallas Mavericks. On March 15, 2017, he scored a career-high 32 points in a 139–100 loss to the Houston Rockets.
Randle began 2017–18 as a reserve, while Larry Nance Jr. started at power forward. He excelled as a backup center when the team went to a small lineup, and he returned to the starting lineup on December 29, 2017. On December 31, Randle set season highs with 29 points and 15 rebounds in a 148–142 double overtime loss to the Houston Rockets. On February 23, 2018, Randle had 18 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in a 124–102 win over the Dallas Mavericks. On March 11, 2018, he had a career-high 36 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists in a 127–113 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Randle finished the season as the only Laker to appear in all 82 games. As a starter, he averaged 18.6 points, 9.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists. He became a restricted free agent after the season.
On July 2, 2018, the Lakers renounced Randle, making him an unrestricted free agent.
New Orleans Pelicans (2018–2019)
On July 9, 2018, Randle signed a two-year, $18 million contract with the New Orleans Pelicans. In his debut for the Pelicans in their season opener on October 17, 2018, Randle had 25 points off the bench in a 131–112 win over the Houston Rockets. On November 19, he recorded his sixth career triple-double with 21 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists in 25 minutes in a 140–126 win over the San Antonio Spurs. On December 3, he scored a career-high 37 points in a 129–126 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. Two days later, he had 27 points and 18 rebounds in a 132–106 win over the Dallas Mavericks. On February 27, 2019, he scored 35 points in a 125–119 loss to the Lakers. On March 15, he scored a career-high 45 points in a 122–110 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. He declined his second-year player option on June 16, 2019, and became a free agent.
New York Knicks (2019–present)
On July 9, 2019, Randle signed with the New York Knicks.
On February 16, 2021, Randle scored 44 points and logged a career-high seven 3-pointers in a 123–112 win over the Atlanta Hawks. On February 23, Randle was named as a reserve for the 2021 NBA All-Star Game.
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Randle is married to Kendra Shaw. On December 23, 2016, Shaw gave birth to the couple's first child, a son named Kyden.