Lakers Rumors: Luol Deng Finalizing Buyout To Become Free Agent Prior To 2018-19 NBA Season
Luol Deng, Lakers
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE (Sept. 1, 10:55 a.m. PT): The Los Angeles Lakers officially announced they have waived Luol Deng.


Prior to the 2016-17 NBA season, the league’s salary cap increased significantly following a new television deal. As a result, the Los Angeles Lakers signed Luol Deng and Timofey Mozgov to four-year deals worth $136 million combined in free agency.

SHOP NOW: CHECK OUT THE LATEST MERCH 🔥🔥🔥

As their production clearly did not match up to their contracts and the Lakers shifted their focus to developing the young core, the first major move by president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka was trading Mozgov and D’Angelo Russell to the Brooklyn Nets.

Unlike Mozgov, the Lakers have been unable to find a trade partner for Deng unless they were willing to include another prospect and/or draft picks.

However, heading into the 2018-19 season, the Lakers and Deng are finalizing a buyout for the remaining two-years, $36.8 million, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic:

By stretching Deng, it will open up an additional $12.5 million in cap space and the Lakers will be armed with another max-contract slot of $37.4 million in free agency. While the initial plan was to sign LeBron James and Paul George this summer, Johnson and Pelinka essentially broke up the second max-contract slot to improve the team’s depth.

After Deng only appeared in 57 games over the last two seasons, he remained professional but expressed his frustration recently at the NBA Africa Game. With the 33-year-old now having an opportunity to play elsewhere, the Lakers can focus on ending their five-year playoff drought and 2019 free agency.

Are you following us on Instagram? We’ve changed our handle to @LakersNationOfficial! Find us on Facebook at @LakersNation, and on Twitter @LakersNation.

You May Also Like

Lakers Rumors: LeBron James Willing To Take ‘Multiple Weeks’ To Fully Recover From Strained Groin If Necessary

As he was leading the Los Angeles Lakers to what finished as a blowout win over the Golden State Warriors on Christmas Day, LeBron James lost his footing as he went…

Lakers Trade Rumors: P.J. Tucker Among Players Of Interest

The 2021 NBA trade deadline, set for March 25, is still more than a month away, but the Los Angeles Lakers are…

Lakers Rumors: Team Willing To Trade Draft Pick For Kevin Love?

[new_royalslider id=”196″] With the Lakers looking to rebuild and Kevin Love becoming…

NBA Rumors: Lakers Could Be ‘Ready To Make Some Decisions’ After Dwight Howard, Joakim Noah, Marreese Speights Workouts

A week since DeMarcus Cousins’ torn ACL in his left knee, general manager Rob Pelinka and the Los Angeles Lakers have…