The Los Angeles Lakers‘ application to exclude Luol Deng's salary from their books has been denied by the league. The Purple and Gold still owe him over $10 million over the next two seasons.

To recall, Deng signed a hefty four-year, $72 million contract with the Lakers in the summer of 2016. It was a time when the salary cap spiked to $94.1 million from $70 million. During that free agency, teams handed out lucrative contracts to players—both deserving and not.

Deng played a total of 57 games for the Purple and Gold. In the latter part of his stint, he was relegated to a mentorship role to the Lakers' young core then.

With their application denied, the Lakers will still have the $5 million cap hit this season and the next as a result of their decision to waive him in September 2018. This won't really matter to them that much since they have already breached the cap. But in 2021, it would be very helpful for the team to trim down its cap space to be able to lure in some big names from the free agent market.

The Lakers cited a career-ending injury in application to remove Luol Deng's salary from the team's financials. However, it is to be noted that after leaving LA in September 2018, Deng suited up for 22 games for the Minnesota Timberwolves. From the looks of it, this fact was the main basis of the league's choice to reject the team's application.