Former Stanford hoops star Chasson Randle ‘15 has committed to the Golden State Warriors’ Summer League Roster after going undrafted in Thursday night’s 2015 NBA Draft.
The fearless point guard forged a historic legacy during his Stanford career. He departs as Stanford’s all-time leading scorer with 2,375 career points. Randle also boasts attractive post-season experience: he led the Cardinal to two NIT Championships (earning Most Outstanding Player honors as a senior) and a Sweet 16 appearance after two consecutive upset wins over New Mexico and Kansas in the 2013-2014 season.
The NBA Champions are returning nearly everyone from their title-earning team after having made some history themselves. The team had the No. 1 ranked defensive efficiency and the No. 2 ranked offensive efficiency through the regular season. After besting the Cavaliers four games to two in the finals, the Warriors also became only the third team to ever reach 83 total wins in a season.
The Dubs did not display many shortcomings over the course of the season, but the offense had a tendency to stall dramatically when MVP Stephen Curry sat. This is the area that Randle could impact most. Veteran guard Shaun Livingston is returning as the likely back-up to Curry. The journeyman has a great feel for the position and takes care of the ball, but is one of the few players on the team with limited range.
The Warriors love to tinker with match-ups, and first-year coach Steve Kerr strategically innovated his line-ups during the course of games all year long. Randle has terrific appeal as a speedy guard and a natural scorer with a solid outside stroke. His skills share little overlap with Livingston, which bodes well for the former Cardinal player. If he performs well, he could possibly battle for the third or fourth spot on the depth chart for Golden State.
Randle excels at breaking down the first line of defense. He finishes well at the rim and has an uncanny ability to draw contact, especially for a smaller guard. He was a career 80.6 percent free throw shooter at Stanford, averaging 6.2 attempts per game in his last two seasons.
However, he has a lot to work on before he’s NBA ready. For one, Randle will need to improve his decision-making and shot selection to even come close to sniffing minutes. He was often too aggressive in chasing shots during his senior season: his mini hero-ball antics left him with a below-average .486 effective field goal percentage for the season, down from .548 percent from the year before. He would settle for three’s much too frequently: his 3-point attempt rate went up to .460 in his final year from .380 the year before. Turnovers were far and away the Warriors’ most evident flaw, almost costing them a championship against the Cavaliers. Randle will need to play under control to impress the Golden State staff.
Furthermore, Randle has to learn how to defend at all times in a pick-and-roll heavy league. He was too easily screened during his time on the Farm. He is already undersized and cannot defend against anything other than the one position, which does not fit well in a Warriors scheme that thrives from switching on nearly everything with most of its line-ups.
Randle is likely not going to end up on Golden State’s roster for this reason, but he can turn a lot of heads during summer ball if he can match his offensive prowess with a similar tenacity in one-on-one defense. Randle has an innate capacity to put the ball in the hoop – this is still one of the most valuable skills in the NBA. With a lot of effort and a couple of years of experience, Randle may very well carve out a career in the league.
Contact Irving Rodriguez at irodriguez ‘at’ stanford.edu.