Julius Randle has earned a place with the Los Angeles Lakers long-term. The 23-year-old has transformed from an enigmatic former lottery pick into one of the most reliable power forwards in the NBA. While the Lakers value salary cap flexibility, the impending restricted free agent has played well enough to earn a spot with the franchise moving forward.

After taking Randle with the seventh pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, the Lakers couldn’t seem to figure out how to use him. He was an undersized post player, who could rebound but didn’t seem to fit the direction of the franchise. Especially once Luke Walton took over as the team’s head coach.

After an up-and-down season under Walton in 2016-17, Randle took on the challenge of fitting in. He worked his tail off to get into absolutely insane shape this offseason, and it has shown on the court. He’s quicker, faster, stronger and is far more well-rounded. He’s one of the few power forwards who can handle the ball coast-to-coast and still finish with strength at the rim.

Randle is averaging a career-best 14.8 points per game, while hitting a career-high 56.1 percent from the field. He’s also posting career-highs in points per 40 minutes (23.7), true shooting percentage (60.1), usage rate (24.2) and PER (19.63). He’s eighth in the league in field goal percentage, and 11th in two-point percentage (58.4).