Lakers aren’t expected to give up assets to move up in Draft, will save for Luol Deng trade
The Los Angeles Lakers won’t likely give out their assets come the 2018 NBA Draft. Instead, they will save these pieces in preparation for a possible Luol Deng trade.
As reported by Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders, the Lakers might need these assets to themselves get out of Deng’s hefty deal.
Not to dispute other reports out there, but the Lakers are probably hesitant to part with any assets to move up in the draft, when those same assets may be needed to get out of Luol Deng's deal.
— Eric Pincus (@EricPincus) June 14, 2018
To recall, Deng signed a four-year, guaranteed $72 million in 2016. He was poised to be the big star for the Lakers after the great Kobe Bryant retired. But management suddenly took a turn away from Deng. Instead of playing him, the team opted to tank and give him a mentorship role.
As reported by Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times, Deng said that his current place with the Lakers is not really the best situation for him:
“It sucks,” Deng said. “It’s hard.”
“I know what people are thinking,” Deng said. “They’re thinking, ‘Yeah, he’s not playing, but he’s making all this money’ … and I would be thinking the same thing.”
“I’ve never before seen a guy brought over to make a change, but then there was a different change. I had no idea I wasn’t going to be part of the plan.”
Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka understands what Deng is going through. He had nothing but praise for Deng, saying that the 33-year-old’s professionalism is a win for both parties:
“It’s important to add this, I mean, Luol has been an unbelievable professional and has stayed very positive,” Pelinka said. “He understands the situation, and at some point, we’ll figure out a way to resolve that — that’s a win for him and us.”