It's been an eventful offseason for the Los Angeles Lakers. And after winning the NBA title this past season, it's likely they are going to be the early championship favorite heading into the new campaign, which is scheduled to begin Dec. 22.
The Lakers have added complementary players to fit around superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis (who is a free agent but is heavily expected to re-sign). They traded for guard Dennis Schroder, signed guard Wesley Matthews, forward Montrezl Harrell and center Marc Gasol in free agency and re-signed guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and forward Markieff Morris.
But Los Angeles may not be done. Here's some of the latest buzz surrounding the Lakers with the start of a new season on the horizon.
Lakers Among Teams with Interest in Robinson
One of the top free agents still on the market is forward Glenn Robinson III, a six-year NBA veteran who is coming off the best season of his career. The 26-year-old has played for five teams during his time in the league, and it's possible he will be joining a new one for the 2020-21 season.
According to Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee, there are four teams "showing the most significant interest" in Robinson: the Sacramento Kings, Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers and Utah Jazz. Sacramento lost shooting guard Bogdan Bogdanovic in free agency, so it could be looking for an addition on the wing.
But that doesn't necessarily mean Robinson will end up on the Kings, as perhaps one of the other three teams (including the Lakers) will make a push to sign him. If the Lakers land him, they would be bringing in another solid contributor to a roster that has already improved this offseason.
Robinson averaged 11.7 points and 4.4 rebounds in 62 games last season, 48 with the Golden State Warriors and 14 with the Philadelphia 76ers. He hadn't averaged more than 6.1 points per game in any of his first five years in the NBA.
Although Robinson has played for a handful of teams, he's never been with any of the four teams with the most interest in him this offseason. And with both the Lakers and Clippers among that group, it's quite possible that Robinson could be heading to L.A.
Deng's Contract to Remain on Lakers' Books
Although Luol Deng hasn't played for the Lakers since 2017-18, Los Angeles is going to be paying for the remainder of his contract with the team through 2022.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Lakers' request to have Deng's salary removed from the books on the basis of a career-ending injury was recently denied. That means L.A. will have to pay out Deng's contract (which was stretched out), so it will owe $5 million each of the next two seasons.
Deng signed a four-year, $72 million deal with the Lakers prior to the 2016-17 season. He ended up only playing 57 games over two seasons, averaging 7.5 points and 5.2 rebounds per contest. Deng was nearing the end of his 15-year NBA career, as he went on to play only 22 more games for the Minnesota Timberwolves during the 2018-19 season.
If Deng had played 25 games after his stint in Los Angeles, then the Lakers wouldn't have been able to apply for the career-ending injury application to try to remove his contract from their books. It didn't end up mattering either way.
The Lakers could have had some more financial flexibility if their request had been approved, but they have still been active this offseason and added players to their roster despite having to pay Deng's contract.