- Ethan Miller/Getty
- Los Angeles Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson laughed when asked if the Lakers had any offers for Luol Deng at the trade deadline.
- Deng has $36 million remaining on his contract and the Lakers would love to trade him to open up more cap space.
- It was previously reported that teams were asking for too much in return to take on Deng’s contract.
The Los Angeles Lakers agreed to a blockbuster trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday, sending Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nace Jr. for Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye, and a first-round pick.
If the Lakers had it their way, they also would have been able to trade Luol Deng, but it appears they didn’t have any takers.
The Lakers signed Deng to a four-year, $72 million contract in 2016 before Magic Johnson was hired as president of basketball operations and before GM Rob Pelinka was hired. The Lakers would love to trade Deng and the two years, $36 million remaining on his contract to open up cap space, but it was previously reported that teams were asking for too much in return to take on Deng’s deal.
On Thursday, while discussing the trade with the Cavaliers, Johnson was asked if the Lakers had any real offers to take Deng’s contract. Johnson’s answer said it all, as he laughed, and said, “We wish.”
“No that didn’t happen,” Johnson said. “Thanks, though. You want to make a move for us?”
Deng has played in just one game this year, logging 13 minutes.
He then turned serious, saying they’ve been in contact with Deng and his agent and were trying to find a landing spot for him but were unable to. Johnson and Pelinka praised Deng’s professionalism throughout the season.
Watch Johnson’s answer below:
Magic Johnson was asked by@billoram ifthere were any substantive conversations about Luol Deng during thetrade deadline, and his initial response is AMAZING! #LakeShow #Lakers pic.twitter.com/IWNU76YGx0
— Shahan Ahmed (@shahanLA) February 8, 2018