NBA Trade Rumors: Lakers Have ‘Given Up’ Potentially Trading Luol Deng
Luol Deng, Lakers
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

With the Los Angeles Lakers looking to sign two superstar free agents in a 2018 class headlined by LeBron James and Paul George, the team still has work to do to free up enough cap space to make their dreams a reality.

The Lakers owe $36.8 million to Luol Deng and $25.9 million to Jordan Clarkson over the next two seasons. And as a restricted free agent, Julius Randle has cap hold of around $12.5 million that will remain on the Lakers’ books until he’s either signed to a new contract or his rights are renounced.

L.A. will probably have to move on from two of those three if they want the room to sign two players to max contracts. And while the one they’d probably be happiest to ship out would be Deng and his albatross contract, that just might not be possible.

The Lakers have been working to find a new home for Deng since he asked out early in the season, but Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the team is no longer optimistic it can do so, via ESPN Full Court Press:

“You talk to teams around the league, no one is bailing the Lakers out with Deng’s contract. They’re not. Teams have asked for multiple first-round picks to take that money. They’ve asked for Brandon Ingram. They’ll ask for Kyle Kuzma. The Lakers, I’m told, have essentially given up the idea that they can trade Deng, that there’s anything they can attach to his contract.”

Some might say it’s unreasonable for teams to ask for those things, but the Lakers did this to themselves in a way. The did attach a former No. 2 pick in order to get out from under a bad deal when they exiled D’Angelo Russell to the Brooklyn Nets in order to rid themselves of Timofey Mozgov.

Thus, the Lakers showed they were more than willing to move on from young talent if it helped them create cap space. No matter how much the team espouses the benefits of Brook Lopez’s game.

With Deng out of the rotation and unlikely to play another game for the Lakers, it’s unlikely that the team could resuscitate Deng’s trade value in any way.

Given that that’s the case, the Lakers optimism they can move arguably the worst contract in the NBA is understandable. There also probably isn’t anything they can do about it.

You May Also Like

NBA Rumors: Players Association Bracing For Delayed Free Agency

Since the NBA has managed to avoid any significant health and safety setbacks inside the Walt Disney World…

Lakers Rumors: Luke Walton Went Weeks Without Hearing From Magic Johnson, Rob Pelinka Sat In On Coaches’ Meetings At One Point

What had long been speculated became a reality Friday afternoon when Luke Walton was relieved of his duties as head…

Lakers Rumors: Raptors ‘Unlikely’ To Let Masai Ujiri Interview For Any Current Opening

With the 2019 NBA playoffs conference semifinals underway, the Los Angeles Lakers are still without a president of basketball…

Lakers Rumors: Andrew Bynum Worked Out At UCLA Health Training Center

Before the Los Angeles Lakers signed LeBron James in what became one of the biggest summers in franchise history…