Suns could consider absorbing Luol Deng’s contract in trade
The NBA offseason got a little more interesting with San Antonio Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard reportedly wanting to be traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. Even the Phoenix Suns were among the teams rumored to inquire about Leonard’s status.
However, that seems highly unlikely given the only assets they have to offer have already been deemed untouchable by the Suns’ brass. According to Scott Bordow of Arizona Republic, they could still look to get in on the action if the Lakers are attempting to work out a deal with the Spurs:
Phoenix could be involved in a Leonard deal, however, as a third-team facilitator. Leonard reportedly has expressed interest in playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Lakers have enough young assets to potentially satisfy the Spurs. Phoenix could get involved by taking Luol Deng’s contract off the Lakers’ hands – he has two years and $36 million left on his deal – in exchange for one of Los Angeles’ young players. Say, for example, point guard Lonzo Ball.
It goes without saying that Los Angeles is likely already in the process of evaluating a potential deal. They have exactly what the Spurs desire in terms of young talent. Furthermore, the Lakers’ brass has been diligently working to clear up cap space since the last offseason to prepare for this summer’s star-studded free agency.
However, the $36 million left on small forward Luol Deng’s lucrative contract has largely hindered their plans ever since. That said, the notion of pairing a young talent with Deng’s abysmal deal certainly makes sense. After all, the Lakers made a similar move last year when they included point guard D’Angelo Russell in a deal with the Brooklyn Nets to get rid of center Timofey Mozgov’s contract. Regardless, it will be interesting to see how this situation unfolds throughout the summer.