The Los Angeles Lakers were hampered by poor roster construction this season. But they are finally putting one problem behind them.
The Lakers have finally finished paying out the contract for Luol Deng. Yes, Luol Deng.
During the summer of 2016, the Lakers were desperate to improve and handed out some embarrassing contracts. They signed Deng to a 4-year, $72 million deal. They also signed Timofey Mozgov to a 4-year, $64 million deal.
While the Lakers dumped Mozgov’s contract to the Nets in the D’Angelo Russell trade, they went a different direction with Deng.
The Lakers waived Deng using the stretch provision (aka the “Gilbert Arenas Rule”). They ended up paying Deng for his first three seasons on the team, and then they spread the remainder of his contract out over future seasons. They have paid him $5 million the last three seasons even though he wasn’t playing for the team.
Deng ended up playing 57 games for the Lakers. They paid him just over $64 million (he agreed to give back $7.5 million as part of his buyout). Yes, Deng ended up making just over $1 million per game he played with the team. Not bad money.
Even though Deng’s $5 million per season was only amounting to 3-4 percent of the salary cap, it will be nice for the Lakers to finally have that money off the books.