In multiple conversations I’ve had with Pete Zayas, he’s told me that if there’s ever a question about what position a player is you likely need to go “up” a slot. So, if you wonder if a guy is a 3 or a 4, he’s a 4. If you wonder whether he’s a 4 or a 5, he’s a 5. In a conversation Pete and I both had with Nate Duncan of the Dunc’d On Podcast, he told us an NBA personnel man once told him that if you can’t shoot in the NBA, you’re a 5 (this was an over-generalization, but I think you get the point).
What does all of this have to do with anything, you might ask? Well, I don’t know if Luke Walton believes the same things that Pete and the personnel guy Nate talked to does, but Walton has turned Julius Randle into a 5. The player who was drafted #7 overall nearly 4 years ago as a bruiser PF who flashed some real all-court game and perimeter skill is now the Lakers primary backup Center. As the kids say, life comes at you fast.