The Lakers landed an established veteran that could inject both talent and leadership to complement their young roster.
The Lakers and Luol Deng agreed to a four-year, $72 million deal, according to league sources. Deng had extensive conversations with other NBA teams, including the Washington Wizards and Utah Jazz. Deng also had a meeting with the Jazz on Friday, sources said.
But Deng likes the Lakers young players, including D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle and Larry Nance Jr. Deng also talked with Lakers coach Luke Walton and was “pleased with the conversation,” sources said. Deng also liked the Lakers consistently stayed in touch after reaching out shortly after free agency began on Thursday at 9:01 p.m. PT.
The Lakers did not establish whether Deng would be a starter or a reserve. But he is expected to play a significant role after averaging 15.5 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists in his 12-year NBA career with stints with the Chicago Bulls (2004-14), Cleveland Cavaliers (2014) and Miami Heat (2014-16). Deng has cemented a strong reputation around the NBA as both a versatile forward and positive locker room influence.
— DWade (@DwyaneWade) July 2, 2016
Deng, who was born in Sudan, also has a foundation that builds outdoor basketball courts and hosts clinics in various parts of Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States. He plans to explore additional initiatives in Los Angeles.