Lakers waive F Luol Deng midway through $72 million deal

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In order to get off the Los Angeles Lakers roster and, hopefully, back onto the basketball court, Luol Deng gave up nearly $7.5 million when he agreed with the Los Angeles Lakers stretching his contract on the buyout. Deng appeared in 56 games during the first year of that deal, but last year, the veteran forward played in one game as the team chose to embrace its young talent instead.

The Lakers have been unable to find a trade partner for Deng without the inclusion of other prospects and/or draft picks. The news of the buyout came from Shams Charania of The Athletic. For Deng, he now has the opportunity to continue his hoops career elsewhere, and Chris Haynes of ESPN reports the veteran forward will "command interest from several contenders". The buyout gave the Lakers an additional $1.3M in savings compared to a $6.3M cap hit had Los Angeles waited until next summer and waived/stretched Deng. With the Lakers only having JaVale McGee, Ivica Zubac and Moritz Wagner, LeBron James is expected to play center in certain situations.

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As Deng's role quickly diminished in his first season, all the attention was naturally on his four-year, $72 million deal. The Lakers benched Deng, 33, for all but one game of the past season.