The Los Angeles Lakers are a team on a mission with team president Magic Johnson keen on signing two big-name free agents at the end of the season. LeBron James, Paul George, Chris Paul, and DeMarcus Cousins are all rumored to be legitimate targets for the purple and gold, and would likely require max salaries to move to Hollywood.
Johnson and the Lakers are aware that in order to achieve their dream next summer, the team would have to open as much cap space as needed. Here is when Lakers trade rumors began swirling as early as this month.
Lakers Giving Up On Trading Luol Deng
Luol Deng has become the Lakers’ white elephant, racking up an average of $18 million in cap space every year. The 32-year-old small forward has played only one game and 13 minutes this season so far, and is only in the second year of his four-year, $72 million deal with the club.
There are rumors that the Lakers have placed him on the trade block since the beginning of the season. They even included Julius Randle and a future draft pick to the package should any team become interested in getting Deng.
However, a recent report by UPROXX said that the Lakers have “given up” on trying to trade Deng this season. The report cited ESPN‘s Adrian Wojnarowski as the source of the rumor, saying that the Lakers do not want to add a future draft pick in any trade that Deng is potentially involved in.