Lakers Continuously Paid Millions To Player Not On Roster

Finally, some good news for the Lakers. No, they haven’t been gifted a courtesy spot in the postseason, and no, they have not stopped being the laughingstock of the league.

But what they have done is wash their hands of an embarrassingly bad investment.

That investment is Luol Deng. In the summer of 2016, Deng inked a four-year deal with Los Angeles for $72 million.

Just prior to the start of the 2017-18 campaign, after just 57 games over two seasons, Deng and the Los Angeles Lakers divorced.

However four years and a career change later, the former NBA forward was still collecting alimony.

Until Monday. That’s when the Lakers’ season was officially over, and Deng’s $5 million salary was off their books.

Deng remained on the payroll for years because he was “stretched and waived” while still under contract. Though that may sound like the most uncomfortable hot yoga position imaginable, it actually means Deng was released but would still receive the full sum of his contract over several years.

Did I mention Deng was LA’s fifth-highest paid player THIS SEASON? Only four Lakers were paid more than Deng in 2021-22: Russell Westbrook, LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Talen Horton-Tucker.

One of those names is not like the others, but that’s neither here nor there.

I think Francis sums up the Lakers/Deng situation best when she tells Clark W. Griswold: “Talk about pissing your money away. I hope you kids see what a silly waste of resources this was.”

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Anthony is a former high school basketball intramural champion who played a leading role in creating two offspring. He spends his weekends hoping for an MTV Rock N' Jock revival. Follow him on X (@OhioAF).