While clearing Luol Deng‘s salary from their books would be the most effective way of clearing cap room to sign two maximum-salary free agents in 2018, the Lakers don’t intend to sacrifice any future first-round picks to facilitate a Deng deal, source tell Bobby Marks of ESPN (Insider link). As Marks notes, this past offseason, the Lakers were able to move one of the two ill-advised contracts they signed in the summer of 2016, sending Timofey Mozgov to Brooklyn. However, that deal cost the team a former second overall pick in D’Angelo Russell. Deng’s four-year, $72MM deal was the Lakers’ other misstep from 2016’s free agent period, with that massive contract quickly turning into a negative asset. Moving it in a trade similar to the Mozgov swap would likely mean attaching at least one future first-round pick, if not more. For a rebuilding team, parting with so many first-rounders would be “reckless,” Marks writes. Assuming the Lakers’ stance on Deng doesn’t change, working out a buyout and/or waiving him via the stretch provision look like the most viable paths to creating cap room.
Lakers Not Interested In Using First-Round Pick To Move Deng
Hoops Rumors | Dec 22