Los Angeles Lakers: 5 goals for the offseason

(Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
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Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Lakers /

5. Waive and Stretch Luol Deng’s Contract

The Lakers signing Luol Deng for four years and $72 million free agency is one of the worst signings in recent memory. In a panic to save their jobs, Mitch Kupchack and Jim Buss signed two veterans to massive contracts in 2016 and they both turned out to be duds.

Deng was one of the singings and Timofey Mozgov was the other, and the Lakers are still feeling the negative effects of those moves. They already got up from under Mozgov’s contract by trading DeAngelo Russell along with him, but it is unlikely they will find a team wiling to take Deng’s contract in a similar move.

Their best option is to actually extend Luol Deng’s contract. This may seem ludicrous, but they can save themselves cap space if they decide to waive and stretch him this summer.  The last NBA collective bargaining agreement made a provision that allows any team to waive a player and stretch the rest of his guaranteed money over twice the remaining length of the contract, plus one year.

Currently the Lakers still owe Deng $36.8 million over the next two seasons, and they would have to pay him over $18 million a season if they stick to his original deal. If they use the waive and stretch they can bring that number down to 7.4 million over 5 seasons, and that would open up a significant amount of cap space to retain players or sign free agents.