Lakers veteran forward Luol Deng had surgery on Wednesday morning to repair a right pectoral muscle. The Lakers said they expect Deng to make a full recovery once training camp starts in late September.
The injury bothered Deng at times during the 2016-17 season where he posted career-lows in points (7.6) and shooting percentage (38.7) in his 12th NBA season. Though the Lakers sounded confident about Deng’s future health, his future as a player remains uncertain. The Lakers may try to trade Deng, who has three years left worth $54 million left on his contract. But the size of that contract also presents various challenges in unloading it.
Shortly before the season ended, Deng said he planned to spend most of his offseason training. He also said he talked with Lakers coach Luke Walton more about playing at the power forward position, something Deng said also matched Walton’s view. It remains unclear if that will happen considering the Lakers have frontcourt players in Julius Randle and Larry Nance Jr. Forward Thomas Robinson will also be an unrestricted free agent, while forward Tarik Black has a non-guaranteed contract with the Lakers for next season worth $6.65 million.