Luol Deng expressed his disappointment with the outcome of his first season with the Los Angeles Lakers. According to the latest NBA rumors, Deng could demand a trade to the Minnesota Timberwolves and reunite with coach Tom Thibodeau.
With the Lakers currently rebuilding the team, Luol Deng somehow regrets signing a lucrative contract in Los Angeles last summer. With the team mostly consists of young players, Deng definitely knows the Lakers are far from contending for the title. The 32-year-old small forward is already on the near end of his NBA career and may consider spending it with a playoff team.
Luol Deng unhappy with the Lakers
In the final games of the 2016-17 NBA season, the Lakers included Deng on the list of veterans they decided to shut down. Coach Luke Walton used the remaining games of the season to prioritize the development of their young players. Deng admitted the awkward feeling of not playing and just watching the game as the regular season ended.
“I feel like I worked very hard coming into this season and continued to work hard,” Deng said. “It was just one of those, just the way the team was made up and having to learn so much, I had a hard time trying to be consistent in the system. It’s a feeling that I know a lot of people wouldn’t want to be in. [Basketball is] something I really love.”
Giving Deng a lucrative contract last summer was the decision of Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak whom Lakers owner Jeanie Buss decided to fire before the end of the season. Before the trade deadline, rumors circulated that the Minnesota Timberwolves are interested in adding Deng on their team. Timberwolves head coach Tim Thibodeau reportedly wanted to reunite with some of his former players, including Deng.
Luol Deng to reunite with Coach Tim Thibodeau this summer
According to Bobby Marks of The Vertical, the Timberwolves should consider improving their second unit in the upcoming offseason. Marks suggest that the Timberwolves should look for an upgrade at shooting guard and small forward.
“With Rubio coming off his most consistent season and Dunn’s strength remaining on the defensive end and not running a team, Minnesota would be best served by improving its shooting-guard and small-forward reserves,” Marks wrote.
With the need of a veteran small forward, the Timberwolves may express interest in trading for Deng this summer. The Lakers should grab the opportunity to unload the veteran small forward. This will give Brandon Ingram more time to improve his skills while letting Deng reunite with his former coach.
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