Los Angeles Lakers Not Getting Their Money’s Worth in Luol Deng

December 6th, 2016 by Eric Pincus Leave a reply »

LOS ANGELES — Most teams were flush with spending power when the NBA's salary cap jumped from $70 million to $94.1 million in July.

The Los Angeles Lakers hit the summer with new head coach Luke Walton, the second pick in the draft (Brandon Ingram) and a cadre of young, talented players like D'Angelo Russell, Julius Randle and Larry Nance Jr. Yet they still had enough space under the salary cap to sign two maximum-salaried free agents.

L.A. had hoped it would receive an audience with players like Kevin Durant, Hassan Whiteside and DeMar DeRozan. But after striking out with the stars, the Lakers spent their free-agent money on veterans Luol Deng, Timofey Mozgov and, via trade, Jose Calderon. They also reinvested in Jordan Clarkson, who signed a four-year, $50 million deal.

Clarkson has been one of the Lakers' best players this season. Mozgov, at $64 million over four years, has been a serviceable starting center, scoring 8.4 points a game while shooting 57.5 percent from the field. Calderon was brought over from the Chicago Bulls, along with two second-round picks. His $7.7 million expiring contract isn't a ...

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