In the summer of 2016 the Lakers signed veterans Luol Deng and Timofey Mozgov to shockingly large, four-year contracts that left many around the league bewildered. When the new front office regime of Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka took over late last season, they knew that one of their biggest challenges was going to be freeing up that cap space.
They accomplished step one by dealing Mozgov and D’Angelo Russell for Brook Lopez and the pick that became Kyle Kuzma. Now, with Deng completely out of Luke Walton’s rotation and reportedly wanting to move on to a team that will play him, they must try to find a way to part ways with him as well.
Given the massive size of Deng’s contract compared to his declining athleticism, it’s going to be a massive undertaking for Johnson and Pelinka to find something that works.
Lakers Nation News Feed Host Trevor Lane addresses the situation with salary cap expert Keith Smith and they explore the ways that Los Angeles can send Deng elsewhere.
They take a look at a number of options, including the possibility of finding a trade. It won’t be easy to find a team eager to absorb Deng’s deal, and we explain why the amount of cap space available next summer could have a major impact on whether or not a deal gets done. No team will give the Lakers value for Deng, but how much will L.A. have to pay to move him?
Another possibility that has popped up is a buyout, but we explain why that’s unlikely to happen anytime soon unless Deng does something unexpected by being willing to give back a lot of money off his deal just to find an opportunity elsewhere. We explain all of the details, just click on the episode above!
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Twitter: @Trevor_Lane, @KeithSmithNBA
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