The Los Angeles Lakers and Luol Deng are finally parting ways. But it’s going to come at a cost. According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, they’ve reached a buyout agreement.
“Sources: The Los Angeles Lakers and forward Luol Deng are finalizing a contract buyout as part of waive-and-stretch provision.”
This is good news for the Lakers, though. Already looking at $25 million in cap space ahead of the 2019-20 season, this move raises that to $36 million. Deng, who is 33 years old, still has two years remaining on his four-year, $72-million deal. In his first two seasons with the Lakers on that deal, though, Deng only saw the floor 57 times. He played just once last season, averaging just 7.5 points and 5.2 rebounds while playing 26.3 minutes per contest during his frustrating stint there.
Now it’s on to bigger and better things (probably). At 33 years old, Deng will be entering his 15th season in the league. A seventh overall pick in 2004, he spent his first 10 years with the Chicago Bulls — averaging 16.1 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists along the way. He’s a far cry from being that player, of course. But there should be a use for him on some team, especially at the veteran minimum. The question is: where? Just let the man play basketball.
At least for both sides, this uneventful but frustrating nightmare is over. That’s good, right?