Lakers Sign Luol Deng

Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports Images

Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports Images

JULY 7th, 7:20pm: The signing is official, the Lakers announced.

JULY 2nd, 8:10am: The Lakers continue to add veterans to their roster, with the latest addition set to be small forward Luol Deng, who has agreed to a deal with the team, Shams Charania of The Vertical reports (via Twitter). It will be a four-year, $72MM pact for the 12-year veteran, Charania relays. Landing an annual salary of $18MM is certainly a significant improvement over the $12MM projection for Deng’s next deal that was bandied about in May.

Deng was reportedly in high-demand around the league, with the Timberwolves, Celtics, Heat, Wizards, Clippers and Jazz all said to have interest in the veteran two-way forward. Utah was expected to be “very aggressive” in its pursuit of Deng, according to a report by Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, but the Jazz missed out on the veteran, who likely saw the opportunity to start in Los Angeles as the more preferable situation to a reserve role in Utah.

The 31-year-old has been a consistent contributor throughout his tenure in the league. Deng made 74 appearances for Miami this past season and averaged 12.3 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 32.4 minutes per outing. His shooting numbers on the year were .455/.344/.755. Deng is a hustle player who plays solid defense and his veteran presence should be a welcome addition to the young Lakers locker room, especially given the reported discord of last season resulting from the D’Angelo Russell/Nick Young video incident.

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26 thoughts on “Lakers Sign Luol Deng

  1. aarongill

    I like him and that he’s a vet and good defender but I wanted a short term deal.

    • Gucci7383

      4yrs seems to be the going rate this off season. Doubt we could have gotten him for less years.

    • bigjonliljon

      You’ve obviously never watched him play. Awful defender. When he played for the Bulls a couple years ago, they benched him in the majority of the 4th quarters due to defensive liability

      • Obviously you’ve never watched him play because he was one of the best defenders with the Bulls and is still one of the better defenders out there. Are you perhaps thinking of Carlos Boozer?

      • Var25

        Wait what?!?! are you serious?? Deng is one the best SF defenders in the league…why do you think he averaged almost 40 mins?? i don’t think you’ve never watched him play hahahaha

      • Eddie Scarito

        Deng may not be a strong individual defender anymore, but he plays excellent team defense. Given the way the league is headed, that’s arguably a more valuable trait.

  2. Johnny Arroyo

    Solid move! Deng brings a lot to team. Versatility. Defense. Experience. I like it!

  3. Danthemilwfan

    This team all has to do with the rookie. If he’s as good as he looks the lakers could contend in the next few years but if he is just average they will suck for years to come

    • Scott

      The Lakers are not contending for anything other than the #1 pick the next year or 2.

  4. Thronson5

    I love it. He can still play and he’s a good veteran presence for the young guys. He can help Ingram develop a lot. People need to realize by time this is in year 3 of the deal this contract won’t be as big the way salary cap will continue to raise. The money means nothing. It’s a solid deal.

  5. This is a solid signing. He should be starting from Day 1 and will be able to help Ingram develop. The term (4th year) and money ($18 per) seems like a bit much, but it is necessary at this point for the Lakers. They could have done a lot worse with that amount. Worst case scenario is that he becomes an expensive leadership option done the road but the next 2-3 years he should be able to be a solid contributor who they might be able to flip by the 3rd year.

  6. Garett

    Sixers gotta like this signing. Improves lakers enough that they’ll definitely get their pick next year.

  7. Marty

    Really, 80,000,000 for a 30 v year old plus guy, thats a sad joke on reality….

  8. reneaguerra

    Mike Conley.. Mike F’ing Conley!! just got the biggest contract in NBA history, so 80 million for 4 years is nothing.

    • Gravity Hill

      When Kent Bazemore is getting $70 million, the league has gone mad. He was a towel waver for Golden State just a few years ago.

  9. Scott

    I would have liked to see him go to Minnesota. He would have fit in nicely as the starting SF or PF and actually would have had a chance to make the playoffs. Taking the money and living by the beach isn’t bad though.

  10. Z.....

    I called it on Deng with the Lakers. I thought he’d get $76 million after what we saw yesterday though. The Lakers have had a lot of interest in him multiple times over the years. I think he fits great with their young pieces, and will provide a great example of leadership. They could even be somewhat competitive if they can add another shooter on the wing…

    As a Heat fan, I knew we couoldnt bring him back. He has been one of my favorite players for most of his career, and it really was cool to have him on my team for 2 years. I would go to war with him every single day of the week. This is one of those unfortunate cap situations that you really wish didnt have to happen. I would have loved for him to have ended his career here. We couldnt have been as competitive as we were without him. As always, Luol Deng will always be part of Heat Nation

  11. So will the Lakers trade Russell because no one on the team likes him and they have Clarkson, or do they trade Young because he’s aging and becoming less efficient? Or keep both and have a toxic locker room?

    • Eddie Scarito

      Young is a candidate to get waived via stretch provision. Russell isn’t going anywhere…unless maybe as part of a blockbuster for Westbrook, if that ends up being a thing.

  12. An overpay since I’m guessing the Lakers don’t want to bench Ingram or Randle. However, as a Bulls fan, this guy will give his all on the court, getting better at 3s every year, plays ferocious defense, and is a great locker room presence and mentor. Whether starting or 6th man, you won’t regret this signing (unless the money prevents you from signing better free agents in the future).

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