NBA Trade Rumors: LA Lakers ‘Would Like To Trade’ Luol Deng, DNP-CD Treatment To Continue
Los Angeles Lakers small forward Luol Deng entered the 2017-18 NBA season with the goal of proving himself once again in the league. However, after being completely out of the Lakers’ rotation, Deng may not finish the season wearing the purple and gold. Will the Lakers successfully unload Deng and his expensive contract before the February trade deadline?
According to ESPN, the Lakers “would like to trade” Luol Deng. Unfortunately, the Lakers won’t be able to find a trade partner unless they are willing to sacrifice one of their young players. Most people believe giving an aging player like Deng a massive contract is one of the biggest mistakes the Lakers ever made. Last season, he only averaged 7.6 points and 5.3 rebounds on 38.7 percent shooting from the field and 30.9 percent from beyond the arc.
In the 2017-18 NBA season opener against the Los Angeles Clippers, Luol Deng only played 13 minutes where he posted two points and one assist. In the next two games, the 32-year-old small forward received DNP-CD (Did Not Play-Coach Decision) treatment. Lakers head coach Luke Walton revealed that Deng won’t return to their rotation “without something happening.”
“As of now, he’s not in the rotation as far as consistently penciled in without something happening.”
According to Bill Oram of the Orange County Register, coach Luke Walton only started Luol Deng against the Clippers to keep his second unit intact. Also, Walton would prefer giving playing time to younger forwards like Brandon Ingram, Larry Nance Jr., Julius Randle, and Kyle Kuzma. As Oram noted, Walton already had a conversation with Deng regarding his limited role on the team.
“We’ve talked,” Walton said. “It’s 82 games. There’s a lot that’s going to change, but for right now we’ve asked him to stay sharp, to keep working to stay ready for when he gets called on and continue mentoring our young players.”
As most people think, Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka could now be starting to find a trade partner for Luol Deng. Trading him and his expensive contract will help the Lakers pursue big names in the 2018 free agency. In order to unload the veteran small forward, the Lakers should be willing to sacrifice one of their young players like Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, or Brandon Ingram.
The Lakers already made a similar move when they sent Timofey Mozgov and D’Angelo Russell to the Brooklyn Nets before the 2017 NBA draft. With their goal to build a title contender, it’s highly likely that the Lakers will do the same thing before the February trade deadline.
[Featured Image by Michael Reaves/Getty Images]