Lakers waive F Luol Deng midway through $72 million deal

Virginia Santiago
September 3, 2018

Britain's Luol Deng was waived Saturday by the Los Angeles Lakers, enabling the club to save enough money under National Basketball Association salary cap rules to land a top 2019 free agent.

Deng is one of the poster boys for Thibodeau's notorious tendency to run starters into the ground, as he missed at least seven games in five subsequent season after Thibodeau's first season as Bulls' coach in 2010-11. He played just 13 total minutes last season. Deng's limited action late in his first season with the Lakers was a move toward a youth movement, so it can be left aside.

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Waiving Deng using the Collective Bargaining Agreement's stretch provision allows the team to spread his final season salary of $18,810,000 over three seasons, so the Lakers will have $6,270,000 in "dead money" on their books for 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22. That number will increase to the $36-38 million range once the Deng buyout is completed, giving the Lakers room for another max-contract player next summer.

But on Saturday morning, a resolution finally came, as the Lakers and Deng agreed to a buyout.

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As expected, the Minnesota Timberwolves will likely have interest in free-agent swingman Luol Deng, according to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic.

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