Veteran Luol Deng Wants Buyout or Trade From Los Angeles Lakers
Playing in only one game in the early goings of the season, veteran forward and former All-Star Luol Deng is just about done and wants out of Los Angeles.
Yes, Deng is still around. The 32-year old former Chicago Bull has two more years left on one of the worst contracts in the league and is still owed $36-million. After averaging 7.3-points per game last season in a bench role, Deng has virtually disappeared from the Lakers’ depth chart this year.
“It definitely hurts,” Deng told reporters Monday. “But the only answer for me now is to prove myself away from L.A. I’m not asked to play, I’m not in the rotation so I can’t prove myself here. Most of these young guys don’t understand the business of basketball, so if I come in here and I’m angry every day, I’m taking something away from them. I have to be smiling, I have to be in the best mood I can be in, because they’re living their dream of being an NBA player.”
The Lakers have a very young and rebuilding group, pitting Deng on the outside looking in, but the 13-year veteran says he is willing to stay patient in hopes of being bought out or traded.
“I’ve always given it everything. Every single team that I’ve played for, every single person would tell you that I’ve given it everything every single day,” Deng said. “That’s the toughest part for me because I’m so used to competing and giving it everything. I’m also used to not doing great and turning it around. My whole life, every time I’ve been down, I’ve found a way to turn it around.”
After playing heavy minutes for most of his stay in Chicago, it is unknown how many miles Deng has left, but a veteran presence on a team looking to win may be the best spot for the forward.