Although Luol Deng is often considered the ‘forgotten’ player in the league, Luol Deng is widely considered a highly talented and consistent player. As a result of his continued positive production in Miami, the 31 year old forward has received a 4 year, $72 million deal with the Los Angeles Lakers during free agency.
The switch from Miami to the Lakers does not only provide a change in scenery, but also a change in role for the only British player in the NBA. Having played in the shadow of all-star guard Dwayne Wade, as well as the ever-improving Hassan Whiteside, Deng now becomes a centerpiece on a young, post-Kobe Lakers team.
Having acquired Brandon Ingram with the second pick of the NBA draft this year, Deng will be sure to take the 19 year old from Duke under his wing, and help develop his game to become the star on this team. Ingram is one of many young players on the current Lakers roster, with D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, Larry Nance Jr.& Jordan Clarkson.
This core of young players is also boosted by veteran center Timofey Mozgov signing early in free agency from the Cleveland Cavaliers as a replacement for Roy Hibbert.
Luol Deng has averaged 15.5 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists in his 12-year NBA career. After a decade with the Chicago Bulls, half a season with a Cavs, and 2 years in Miami, Deng takes his game to the Western Conference for the first time in his career.
Now aged 31, time is running out for Deng to win a title, and signing for an up and coming Lakers team could be his last opportunity as a legitimate starter to make it happen.
Although not considered an elite star of the league, Luol Deng is a 2 time NBA All-Star, making the Eastern team whilst playing for the Chicago Bulls in 2012 and 2013.
Having spent much of his career playing in the shadow of superstars, Deng can finally take a centerpiece in this young team. Could this be the best move yet for the Brit?
His consistent offensive efficiency and defensive ability is enough to have a positive influence on any team. He may not be Kevin Durant, but he could well do big things for this team. His time working with the likes of Brandon Ingram could have an impact on this team long after Deng’s prime, as the rookie can learn a lot from the veteran forward.