NBA player Luol Deng is reportedly heading to the Los Angeles Lakers!
According to the Bleacher Report, Deng reached an agreement with the Los Angeles Lakers Saturday for a four-year, $72 million deal.
Luol Deng has agreed to a 4-year, $72M deal with the Los Angeles Lakers. pic.twitter.com/lL3Plxzbdc
— BallersHype (@BallersHype) July 2, 2016
While playing for the Miami Heat last season, Luol Deng averaged 12.3 points, 1.9 assists, and six rebounds in more than 70 games. The Miami Heat needed the longtime NBA forward to step up when Chris Bosh had to step down in mid-February. Bosh being benched allowed Luol Deng to shine as the team’s power forward — proving to Heat fans and critics that the team made a solid move by adding Deng to the roster and starting line-up back in 2014 after LeBron James left.
Joining the Los Angeles Lakers places Luol Deng in good company among a solid group of young, rising stars — including D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, and Julius Randle. Keep in mind that the Lakers also secured the No. 2 overall pick from the NBA Draft, Brandon Ingram. Therefore, things seem to be looking up for the Los Angeles Lakers as they continue to prepare and plan for the upcoming season.
The Los Angeles Lakers will sign Free Agent, Luol Deng to a 4yr/$72M deal. pic.twitter.com/7CN4UEpGsQ
— The Sports Report (@ThaSportReport) July 2, 2016
According to Yahoo! Sports, Luol Deng spoke with several other teams — including the Utah Jazz and Washington Wizards — before deciding to wear a Los Angeles Lakers jersey. His insight and experience as a veteran player will play an instrumental role during his time with the Lakers, helping to lead the rest of the roster with hopes of obtaining another championship.
Over the years, Luol Deng has maintained a reputation in the NBA for having a down-to-earth, humbled attitude. During an interview with Forever Sports, he credited that overall mentality to his childhood. Born in south Sudan during the ongoing civil war, Luol moved from Africa to London when he was 9-years-old. A basketball scout discovered him nearly four years later in Brixton.
Even though he’s made a home for himself in the United States for well over a decade now, according to the Telegraph, Luol Deng admits that he still makes regular visits to London.
“I come back every summer and it’s really nice to walk around and not be recognized. It’s like having another identity. In England, I’m just another tall guy! My whole life, I’ve been getting used to adapting. There are small differences, but culturally the States and the UK are very close. I’ve seen the other side of the coin. I came from nothing, so I’m very grateful and appreciative of what I have now.”
Luol Deng entered the 2004 NBA Draft after spending one year at Duke University. The Phoenix Suns selected Deng with the seventh overall pick, but immediately traded him to the Chicago Bulls.
— Drū (@dru_star) February 18, 2015
Even after a wrist injury ended his first season prematurely, Luol Deng still made the cut for the NBA All-Rookie First Team.
— Tomas (@tjansermoz) July 13, 2014
Deng played for the Chicago Bulls for 10 years before joining the Cleveland Cavaliers’ roster in January, 2014, after the Bulls traded him in exchange for Andrew Bynum and future draft picks. Luol Deng joined the Miami Heat roster in July of the same year.
[Image Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images]