The Lakers have been in a rebuilding state, and both their present and future is built around youth. That leaves little use for veteran forward Luol Deng. For more, here’s

When Los Angeles Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr. broke a bone in his left hand last week, there was a brief possibility the team might replace him in the starting lineup with veteran power forward Luol Deng.

Instead the Lakers started rookie Kyle Kuzma, who proceeded to put up double-doubles in both his starts. Kuzma has played so well, he may never come out of the starting lineup — even when Nance is ready to return in 4-6 weeks.

Deng remained right where he has been for most of the season — on the inactive list, while the Lakers prioritize developing their younger players over getting value out of the man they signed to a four-year, $72 million contract in the summer of 2016.

“It definitely hurts,” Deng told ESPN on Monday after the Lakers’ practiced. “But the only answer for me now is to prove myself away from L.A. I’m not asked to play, I’m not in the rotation, so I can’t prove myself here.”

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