Lakers, Luol Deng agree to buyout

The Los Angeles Lakers yesterday (Saturday) requested waivers on forward Luol Deng. This after the team and Deng agreed to a contract buyout.

“We want to thank Luol for his time with the Lakers,” said Lakers General Manager Rob Pelinka. “We made this move to further our future salary cap and roster flexibility, as we continue to build this Lakers team according to our current overall vision.”

Acquired as a free agent in 2016, Deng appeared in 57 career games (50 starts) for the Lakers, averaging 7.5 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 26.3 minutes.

According to ESPN.com, “Luol Deng agreed to a significant give-back of $7.5 million in his contract buyout with the Los Angeles Lakers, clearing $38 million in salary cap space for 2019 free agency, league sources told ESPN. The Lakers can now offer a free-agent star a maximum contract in July to partner with LeBron James. The Lakers are targeting the top players in a potentially starry 2019 marketplace, including Toronto’s Kawhi Leonard, Golden State’s Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson and Minnesota’s Jimmy Butler.”

And according to the Daily Breeze, “Deng was one of the Lakers’ dubious legacies from a spending whirlwind in the 2016 offseason, and the former Bulls, Cavaliers and Heat forward never produced as hoped in Los Angeles after signing a four-year, $72 million deal. He averaged just 7.5 points per game in 57 total contests, playing only once last season as the Lakers sought minutes for a young core under a new front-office regime.”