Los Angeles Lakers: Treatment Of Luol Deng Will Bring Bad Karma
The Los Angeles Lakers have dealt with issues on issues the last season and a half. From trades to front office changes to overpaying for players, and LaVar Ball. The root of the problems may stem from Luol Deng. In 2016, Mitch Kupchak thought adding experienced players to his young core would get the Lakers to the playoffs. It wasn’t the players he signed, it was the length and money given.
For those who believe in karma, this might be the universe’s way of paying the Lakers back for basically destroying Deng’s career.
Before signing with the Lakers, Deng averaged 12.3 points and six rebounds on 45 percent shooting. Deng was to provide scoring and a veteran presence while being a tutor to then-rookie, Brandon Ingram. However, his time with the Lakers has not gone as planned. In his first season, Deng played in 56 games while starting 49 and averaged just 7.6 points and 5.6 rebounds while shooting a miserable 38 percent from the floor. With the Los Angeles Lakers season basically over by the NBA trade deadline, Kupchak could not move Deng due to his contract. Deng rode the rest of the season on the bench then it got worse this season.
If Deng were injured then this would not be up for debate. However, Rob Pelinka has basically shelved a veteran player whose only 32-years old. There are reports that the Lakers may use the stretch provision on Deng this year or next but still, why are they putting this man through so much? No, Deng is not an All-Star but to think he couldn’t help the Lakers over the last year and a half is nonsense.
Why Are The Lakers Holding Deng Hostage?
Deng’s situation is not like that of Deron Williams when he was with the Brooklyn Nets. Deng wants to play. He wants to try to help the Lakers but for whatever reason, the Lakers have ignored his pleas. If the Lakers finally decided to release Deng they would be doing not only Deng a favor but the team’s future as well. Pelinka was able to trade away one bad contract (Timofey Mozgov) but Deng continues to ride the Lakers bench as healthy as any of the players ahead of him.
It’s tough being a rookie and not receiving playtime time. However, this has to be extra hard being a veteran knowing you can still play this game like one of the young kids. The Los Angeles Lakers must make a decision fast on Deng if they are to get from under this dark cloud. Deng has done nothing wrong but sign a contract that was placed in front of him. Magic Johnson should know better than this. Luke Walton and Jeanie Buss should as well. This is not what Deng needs and not something Jerry Buss would stand for.Follow @BXReporter