Lakers Rumors: Possible Luol Deng Trade or Buyout Being Discussed

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistNovember 6, 2017

Los Angeles Lakers forward Luol Deng (9) walks toward the bench during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks, Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
Ron Jenkins/Associated Press

After struggling to get playing time with the Los Angeles Lakers this season, Luol Deng is looking for an opportunity elsewhere.

According to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, "The team has met with Deng's representatives to find a solution," indicating a trade or buyout could be coming.

The 32-year-old is in the second season of a four-year, $72 million deal.

While the high price could make it difficult for the two sides to agree on a buyout, a trade might be even tougher considering his lack of playing time to show off his ability.

Deng made 49 starts for Los Angeles last season and made 56 total appearances, averaging a career-low 7.6 points per game. His 38.7 percent shooting from the field was also his worst in his 13 seasons in the NBA.

With the Lakers attempting to go younger this year, Deng is no longer a part of the rotation. He scored just two points in 13 minutes in the first game of the season and has seen zero action since.

"I'm just being patient," Deng said, per Shelburne. "Throughout my career I've never really been a guy who created drama or wanted to deal with drama. At the end of the day I know what it is, I know I can play the game. But it's the situation that I came into."

The 32-year-old was a two-time All-Star with the Chicago Bulls, but he now seems far removed from his days as a top contributor.

Los Angeles assuredly would like to get his salary off the books, especially since he's providing no value on the court, but the team will need to pair him with another asset to find a taker.