Lakers Buy Out, Waive Luol Deng

2:09pm: Deng gave back $7.5MM on the $36.8MM left on his contract, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne (Twitter link). By using the waive-and-stretch provision, the Lakers will have approximately $38MM in salary cap space next summer.

1:12pm: The team has waived Deng, according to the team’s Twitter feed.

10:25am: The Lakers and forward Luol Deng have agreed to a buyout that will make the veteran a free agent, Shams Charania of The Athletic was first to report. Deng will be waived and stretched, which creates financial flexibility for Los Angeles.

Before reaching a buyout with Deng, the Lakers were projected to have $25MM in cap room for next season. However, by completing this move with Deng, that figure is expected to increase to about $36-38MM, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks. That creates room for a max contract next offseason for Los Angeles.

Deng, 33, had two years and $36.8MM left on the four-year, $72MM deal that he originally signed during the summer of 2016. Since inking that contract with the Lakers, Deng never settled into the team’s rotation, ultimately becoming an expensive bench player.

Per ESPN’s Chris Haynes, Deng is expected to field interest from several contending teams in free agency.

The former two-time All-Star played in 56 games his first year with the Lakers in 2016/17, averaging a career-low 7.6 PPG and 5.3 RPG. The Lakers sat Deng late in the season to evaluate its younger players, a role Deng assumed for all of the 2017/18 campaign.

Despite being healthy and able to play, Deng appeared in just one game this past season. The Lakers even made it publicly clear that they wanted to rid themselves of the albatross contract after the trade deadline in February.

“We wish, huh?” Johnson said with a laugh about whether or not the team was close to trading Deng (via The Orange County Register). “No, that didn’t happen. You want to make a move for us?”

While Deng was commended for his professionalism by Lakers brass, he insisted that his skills can still be effective on the right team. Speaking to K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune in January, Deng said he can be an effective player on the court.

“That’s no question,” Deng said. “I’m not playing because I can’t play. If we’re going to go there, it is what it is. But I know I can play.”

In 14 NBA seasons, Deng wields career averages of 15.0 PPG, 6.1 RPG and 2.3 APG between the Bulls, Cavaliers, Heat and Lakers.

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32 thoughts on “Lakers Buy Out, Waive Luol Deng

  1. WilliamDuval

    Heat should bring him back for the minimum. Cut a roster filler player and have Deng off the bench.

    • formerlyz

      I’d be down with that. Get rid of Stokes and give him the last roster spot. Theres depth at his position, but with our injuries that could help us, or it would allow them to play more small lineups

  2. imindless

    Good riddance. Leftovers from jim’s terrible reign, lets move forward now!!

  3. evergreen666

    Now the question is who Lakers will bring now?!!!!!! Would it be Jimmy Butler or Leonard Kawhi???

    • hiflew

      Leonard Kawhi? Maybe they can also get Jordan Michael or Bryant Kobe to play again.

  4. Thronson5

    Dude is a class act. Wish him nothing but the best wherever he lands. With that being said..thank God they got rid of that contract finally!

  5. paladin

    Never understood why they didnt play the guy in a losing, bust of a season. Let him show what he can do so you can trade him. Then laugh it off like trade him for us! Total joke! Did he steal peoples wallets? why not play the guy? Never made any sense to let him sit.
    So pay the guy to ”not” play and pretend what a great move it is……well done

    • Same situation than Noah in NYC, a total pro that works really hard, but doesn’t play, why do the Knicks don’t play Noah, is just as baffling as the Lakers not playing Deng… although with that said the Lakers, at least this year are loaded with forwards, so he wouldn’t play much, but the Knicks do need a good center, as they got rid of Willy, so why don’t they play Noah?

      • FlaveFlava

        Noah’s situation is completely different. Deng hasn’t been suspended or a headache off the court.

      • Would be nice if the knicks can pull the same thing off. Noah is stubborn, he won’t go for it

      • Polymath

        If the Lakers or Knicks want to pay someone millions not to play, give me a call. I’m game.

    • cakirby

      You didn’t understand why they didn’t play the old guy with no future on the team over the 10 young kids they wanted to evaluate over a new season? Really?

      • paladin

        If you want another team to take your trash you have to at least prove he can play. He will be signed by another team, for sure. Last year was a bust of a season, why not play him? Lots of injuries for the Lakers last year and he could have gotten 10/12 minutes to prove he can play and get traded. I guess you do not watch the Lakers. So, yes Really! You should watch them sometime. To quote Magic ” We wish huh. No that didn’t happen. You want to make a move for us.” Magic could have used your advice. Oh well maybe next time he needs GM help you can be there for him.

  6. I don’t understand the hate on Luol. He’s a class act, and showed in the Africa game he can still play. It’s not his fault they gave him that contract

  7. Z-A

    Spurs, Thunder, Warriors, Rockets, any team in the East 1-8 could use this guy as a reserve.

  8. hockeynick97

    Nice the Lakers finally were able to (kind of) did themselves of his albatross contract. In less important news, I guess this means Rondo will take his #9. Maybe THAT is why they bought him out…LOL(jk of course)

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