Warriors' Randolph poised to arrive as impact player sooner than later
The calendar has changed.
He is supposed to be this good
It is one year later. Just one. A rival general manager watched Randolph kill in summer league -- a Vegas-best 26.8 points in four games along with 8.5 rebounds, three blocks and 60.9 percent shooting -- and said, "He is a star waiting to happen, especially in that system," meaning the shoot-'em-up
Six-eleven is correct. Randolph has grown another inch. More important, he has added 20 pounds.
Randolph's rise over the last five months led to an invitation from USA Basketball to participate this week in a three-day minicamp for young players hoping to line themselves up for future Dream Team duty. Randolph is a tremendous long shot to make the big club for the 2010 world championships and is in the mix this much only because enough prospects in the first wave declined, but, again: 20 years old, 22 career starts, zero votes from coaches for the All-Rookie team, yet on the
Randolph's progress means everything for the Warriors. He had already become as close to an untouchable as a 29-53 team can have, based on a rookie season while the youngest player in the league and especially the March and April as a regular starter once injuries forced him into the first unit. The 12.8 points and 9.2 rebounds in 24 games when logging at least 20 minutes, the 10.6 rebounds in eight games in April, the summer league, the Team USA -- everything Golden State thought might happen did happen, only ahead of schedule.
"That's not overstating it," Warriors GM
The Warriors' early luck of so many teams passing on Randolph in the draft, when he would be an easy top-five pick if the same players went into a pool today, has become their new unexpected impact. Randolph's becoming more consistent on the boards means he can hold his own inside now and start at power forward even while appearing to be at risk of toppling over from a stiff breeze. Developing a mid-range game means he can play with center
"I've always been confident in myself," Randolph said. "I wouldn't say [the summer league] has been a confidence boost. It just kind of shows me that my hard work is paying off a little bit."
Or paying off a lot. And a lot faster than originally scheduled.
• One executive called Sacramento's