The Los Angeles Lakers were among the teams in NBA rumors to target the top free agents this summer. However, it looks like the Hollywood team is being snubbed by the best players and will have to settle with marginal stars in 2016 free agency.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports confirmed Saturday that the Lakers have signed veteran forward Luol Deng to a four-year contract worth $72 million. This was a day after they signed center Timofey Mozgov and re-signed point guard Jordan Clarkson
Early NBA rumors in the offseason claimed that the Lakers wanted the top free agents in the market. Big names like Kevin Durant, Nicolas Batum, Al Horford and Hassan Whiteside were linked to Los Angeles.
However, Batum and Whiteside have already re-signed with their respective teams. Durant and Horford are expected to sign elsewhere and not in Los Angeles.
Another free agent, Kent Bazemore, reportedly talked to the Lakers during the first day of free agency. Bazemore left a bigger offer from Los Angeles and chose to stay with the Atlanta Hawks.
The 31-year-old Deng is a veteran of 12 years who have played for the Chicago Bulls (2004 to 2014), Cleveland Cavaliers (2013-2014) and Miami Heat (2014-2016). In two seasons with the Heat, he averaged 13.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.0 steals per game.
Deng will join a young Lakers team that will feature Clarkson, D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle and the second overall pick in the recent draft, Brandon Ingram.
Even after giving out long-term contracts to Timofey Mozgov, Jordan Clarkson and Luol Deng, the Lakers will still be involved in NBA rumors as they have about $20 million left to offer a free agent this summer.