Lakers Rumors: Luol Deng Reportedly Also Shut Down Alongside Timofey Mozgov

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 15, 2017

SACRAMENTO, CA - DECEMBER 12: Timofey Mozgov #20 and Luol Deng #9 of the Los Angeles Lakers talk during the game against the Sacramento Kings on December 12, 2016 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
Rocky Widner/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers have reportedly shut down veterans Luol Deng and Timofey Mozgov for the remainder of the season.

Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated reported the news regarding Mozgov on Tuesday, and ESPN's Ramona Shelburne reported Wednesday that Deng is also expected to sit out for the remainder of the season despite both players being healthy.

Mozgov and Deng each signed four-year contracts with the Lakers during the offseason for a combined $136 million, per ESPN's Arash Markazi.

Mozgov, who's averaging 7.4 points and 4.9 rebounds per game this season, last played March 5 and has seen action in just one of the Lakers' past 10 games. Deng, who averaged 7.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, hasn't played since Feb. 26.

With Mozgov out of the lineup, the combination of rookie big man Ivica Zubac and Tarik Black are in line for more minutes. Zubac went off for a career-high 25 points and 11 rebounds in 30 minutes in a blowout loss against the Denver Nuggets on Monday. Deng's absence, meanwhile, should lead to even more playing time for 2016 No. 2 overall draft pick Brandon Ingram.

According to Shelburne, the "Lakers could revisit the situation" with either Deng or Mozgov before the season ends, but the current plan calls for them to sit.

Benching Mozgov and Deng is a win-win situation for L.A., as it creates additional opportunities for young players and could lead to more losses. Los Angeles needs its draft pick to be inside the top three to avoid having to send it to the Philadelphia 76ers as part of a previous trade.

The Lakers are currently 20-47, which is the second-worst record in the NBA behind the Brooklyn Nets.

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