The Los Angeles Lakers decided to waive veteran forward Luol Deng by utilizing the stretch provision, clearing the way for him to explore continuing his career with another team.
This episode of the LN News Feed breaks down the salary cap ramifications of the move and what it will mean for the team’s pursuit of a second star to pair with LeBron James.
Deng, who signed a four-year deal worth $72 million with the Lakers two years ago, only appeared in one game last season after the team decided to move in a different direction. It was no secret that Los Angeles was hoping to move his contract off of their salary cap but were unable to find a trade that didn’t involve them giving up considerable assets.
Instead, by choosing to waive Deng at this point, the final year remaining on his deal will be stretched out over three seasons, providing the team with more room to pursue free agents next summer.
Additionally, Deng agreed to a buyout in exchange for the ability to become a free agent, giving back about $7.5 million of the over $36 million that he was owed. This will further increase the amount of cap space the team has to use on the free agent market.
In total, the Lakers will have about $38 million available to spend. Waiving Deng also gives the team an open roster spot, though it’s not clear just yet what they plan to do with it.
For Deng, making this move now will give him the ability to sign with another team prior to the start of training camp in the hope that he can revive his career.
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