Sometimes the amount of talent a player has is irrelevant if they are overshadowed by someone else on their team. However, a change of scenery can open things up and make all the difference for a promising athlete. One example of that is veteran G League guard Kyle Randall, who played with both the Lakeland Magic and Delaware 87ers this past season. With Lakeland, he struggled to even get on the court as he only played 8.5 minutes per game. Due to that lack of playing time, they waived him on February 10th.
Lucky for Randall, the Delaware 87ers picked him up off waivers on February 14th, which ultimately changed the course of his season. Because with Delaware, he stood as a pretty solid guard as Randall put up 6.9 points and 3.7 assists on 42% from the field in only 22 minutes per game.
To go more in depth into that run, Ridiculous Upside was proud to talk to Kyle Randall about his struggles with Lakeland, success with Delaware and his future in the NBA G League.
Ridiculous Upside: At the start of the season, you struggled to get playing time with the Lakeland Magic. Why do you think you had those issues?
Kyle Randall: Honestly I don’t know. I wondered the same thing. I’m sure it was tough because we had three really good options to choose from (Troy Caupain, Rodney Purvis and Jay Wright) and obviously Troy got the bulk of it. That’s understandable because he went to training camp with Orlando and he’s a really good player.
Also, Jay got drafted by Lakeland in the 1st round. He was with them throughout all of training camp. He’s athletic and is a younger point guard, so they wanted to try and build him for the future. I felt like I was there to be a backup and provide some veteran leadership because it was a pretty young team.
I don’t have any harsh things to say anything about what happened down there. It was a good networking opportunity for me and I’m glad it ultimately worked out when I went to Delaware.
RU: How was the situation different when you went to Delaware?
KR: When I went down to Delaware, they looked at me more as someone that could immediately contribute because they were lacking point guards. At that time, Askia Booker went overseas and Jacob Pullen left a bit before then.
RU: As a pass-first point guard, what was it like to play alongside a great offensive player like Christian Wood?
KR: It was pretty fun because you’re playing with a guy that’s fast and long. You can toss it up anywhere around the rim and he can go get it. That made the game a lot easier because he was a big target. He also drew a lot of attention which opened up a lot for me coming off those pick-and-rolls with runners or getting all the way to the basket.
RU: In what ways do you think you improved over the course of the season?
KR: I think it was just me being able to settle down into a more consistent role. With Lakeland, I was kind of overthinking [things and] trying to do everything possible to stay on the floor as long I could. I didn’t really have any control of it, but as a player you think you can control all of your playing time, so you try to do everything possible but sometimes you just overdo it.
RU: Now that the offseason is here, what have you been working on?
KR: I really want to improve my 3-point shot. I didn’t shoot as well as I’d like from a percentage standpoint. I definitely want to be more consistent. I’m studying a lot of film because there’s a lot of up-and-coming younger point guards in the league and a lot of open positions that are starting to be filled.
The opportunities with two-way contracts that just came up last year is something that I’m really targeting, either a two-way or a training camp deal. I’m just watching a lot of film of the point guards that are getting playing time or got called up. I want to see what I can add and implement into my game.
RU: Do you have your sights set on returning to the G League next year? If so, does that decision have anything to do with the salaries improving?
KR: I do plan on going back to the G League next year. That’s something that my group has decided would be the best option right now. We feel that with the right opportunity and the minutes that I was getting with Delaware —- if I had that for a full season, I would definitely have a shot at call-up or set myself up the following year to get a training camp invite.
The increased salary definitely makes things a lot more comfortable. We were already going that route, but seeing the increased salaries makes it a smoother decision. That’s because money is the main reason why people have passed up the G League in the past. They can make more overseas.