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Deng Out vs. Nuggets
Tuesday, Jan. 17
The Vertical's Chris Mannix, citing a Lakers announcement, first reported the news.
Deng was largely healthy during his two-year stint with the Miami Heat, appearing in 146 of 164 regular-season games. He was banged up during Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Toronto Raptors last year, though, leaving in the third quarter with a wrist injury after scoring just four points.
The Lakers have their small forward of the future in Brandon Ingram (19), and Julius Randle (22) has tremendous upside at power forward. Deng was brought in to provide quality minutes and serve as a mentor to those young players.
Deng is no longer an All-Star talent, but his ability to shoot from anywhere on the floor makes him a valuable commodity. His absence will force head coach Luke Walton to play the younger players more, but that should help their long-term development.