The Los Angeles Lakers had an eventful summer, landing LeBron James as well as a new supporting cast of veterans as they look to climb back to the top of the NBA mountain.
They didn’t stop there, though, waiting until the first day of September to waive veteran forward Luol Deng after coming to terms on a buyout of the remaining two years and nearly $37 million left on his contract.
By waiving Deng and stretching the 2019 portion of his salary, the Lakers will free up salary enough cap space to chase after a max-level free agent next summer.
However, in the here and now, the team also frees up a roster spot that they can use in a number of ways. On this episode of the Lakers Nation Podcast, host Trevor Lane brings in guest Allen Sliwa of ESPN to discuss what Deng buyout and what the team can potentially do to fill their final roster spot.
Additionally, we discussed Lonzo Ball and the growth that he will need to show next season. With Rajon Rondo in the fold, the pressure will be on Ball to step up his game, particularly on the offense end.
Recent footage from a workout at the UCLA Health Training Center suggests that Ball may have slightly tweaked his jump shot, which could be good news after he struggled to convert from all over the court last season.
Finally, we break down some of the moves that have been made by Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka since they assumed control of the front office about a year and a half ago. With James on board, it appears that the ship has been righted and it’s worth taking a look at exactly how they were able to get things back on track.
To listen to the show just click on the player above.