The Los Angeles Lakers' sixth highest paid player coming into this season hasn't played a game for the Purple & Gold in the last four years. No, it's not a returning ex-star trying to chase a ring—it's Luol Deng.

Deng, who signed a four-year, $72 million deal with the Lakers in 2016, is set to make around $5 million this year. While usually rebuilding teams just ride out bad contracts or trade them away along with marginal assets, Deng's had to be stretched out in 2019 to make room for a certain LeBron James fella.

Deng's $5 million windfall is almost double what Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard are making on their own, with the two stars combining for a salary just a shade over the $5 million mark themselves.

Luol Deng had an underrated career in the NBA, making two All-Star teams with the Chicago Bulls and being the unsung star alongside Derrick Rose in the early 2010s. He was just 31 years old when he signed the deal with the Lakers, but the heavy load playing under coach Tom Thibodeau and entering the league as a teenager clearly expedited his decline. He's currently serving as the president of South Sudan's basketball federation as well as the coach of its men's national team.

Both Melo and Dwight signed veteran's minimum deals to be able to fit in the Lakers' crowded cap room situation. But don't feel sorry for either of them. Both former superstars have made nearly $300 million apiece throughout their respective careers.

The Lakers have been lauded for making shrewd moves to surround LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, and Anthony Davis with enough supporting talent. If the season concludes with a title, both Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard will be more than fine with the big pay cut. Maybe they should send Luol Deng a ring too for being the stretched-out good luck charm?