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Report: NBA denies Lakers’ attempt to exclude Luol Deng’s salary

2017-18 Los Angeles Lakers Media Day

EL SEGUNDO, CA - SEPTEMBER 25: Luol Deng #9 of the Los Angeles Lakers poses for a portrait during media day at UCLA Health Training Center on September 25, 2017 in El Segundo, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

The Lakers – attempting to exclude Luol Deng’s salary ($5 million each of the next two seasons) from salary-cap, luxury-tax an hard-cap calculations – tried to prove an injury suffered while he was with the Lakers “prevents him from playing skilled professional basketball at an NBA level for the duration of his career.”

Three major problems:

  • What injury?
  • Though Deng played only one game his final season with the Los Angeles (the opener), then-Lakers coach Luke Walton said that March Deng was “still really good at basketball.”
  • Deng played 22 games with the Timberwolves the following season.

Unsurprisingly, the Lakers’ gambit failed.

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

Deng will still get his money regardless.

The Lakers just don’t gain flexibility with the salary cap, luxury tax and hard cap.

And 29 other teams rejoice about the rare time not everything falls into place for the Lakers.