- July 1, 2022, is suddenly a holiday for fans of the Los Angeles Lakers.
- Finally, the awful contract for Luol Deng is off the books.
- Accordingly, Lakers fans celebrated after getting rid of one of the worst contracts in history.
Right at the start of NBA free agency back in 2016, the Los Angeles Lakers signed Timofey Mozgov to a four-year, $64 million deal. Then they inked Luol Deng to a four-year deal worth $72 million in some horrendous decision-making by former general manager Mitch Kupchak.
Lakers sign Luol Deng to four-year, $72-million deal https://t.co/OoIcvf9mTk
— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) July 2, 2016
Timofey #Mozgov signs a 4 year, $64 million deal with the @Lakers
He'll make more💰 next year than….Steph Curry pic.twitter.com/73LPFahUmF
— HotNewHipHop (@HotNewHipHop) July 1, 2016
Years later, both of those contracts are among the worst in recent NBA history. Both players were severely underwhelming, and Kupchak ended up getting replaced by Rob Pelinka before he could have a shot at free agency redemption.
Well, July 1, 2022, will live with Lakers fans forever.
The Luol Deng Contract Is Officially Off The Books For The Lakers
It took six years, but now, the contract for Deng is officially off the books for the Lakers.
Luol Deng is now officially off of the Lakers' cap sheet.
— Trevor Lane (@Trevor_Lane) July 1, 2022
Why is that? Just over two years later, the Lakers decided to use the stretch provision on Deng, letting him go and stretching the remaining salary over a couple of extra years.
The Lakers and Luol Deng are finalizing a contract buyout via the stretch provision, per @ShamsCharania pic.twitter.com/Rg6COZYzIW
— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) September 1, 2018
Luol Deng Lakers salary
Games played for LA: 57 pic.twitter.com/8HEJT4WMqd
— Top Ball Coverage (@TopBallCoverage) July 1, 2022
So, finally, the Lakers are freed from Deng taking up cap space. Without hesitation, Laker fans rejoiced at this wonderful news.
LakersNation prayed for times like this ☝️ https://t.co/UMfyvEfurL
— Kenny (@Kicks2Fuego) July 1, 2022
We did it https://t.co/oqZpKjddsR pic.twitter.com/X4dxIyXXMr
— BadBitchEraHost (@xbadhost) July 1, 2022
finally!!! been paying that boy since 2013 https://t.co/IlKvAjAx9v
— ♠️ boogie (@mike2lowery) July 1, 2022
top 5 biggest scam in nba history https://t.co/m7z5BuSdQH
— Pyrex. (@PyrexWhippaWes) July 1, 2022
Luol Deng is off the books 🔥🤣 pic.twitter.com/IcxFrbHMdX
— The Pettiest Laker Fan 🤫 (@ThePettiestLA) July 1, 2022
Luol Deng’s 4 year 72 mil contract is finally off the books. It only took 6 years.
— Laker Central 🎙🎧🎥📝 (@LakerCentral365) July 1, 2022
I think we have a chance to make more solid trades now that Luol Deng is off the Lakers cap sheet https://t.co/7Mjhuoq8Q2
— I am just a laker fan (@Pvark1) July 1, 2022
On Bobby Bonilla Day 2022, Luol Deng is finally off of the Lakers books😂 pic.twitter.com/99TaiK6xY9
— PointsBet Sportsbook (@PointsBetUSA) July 1, 2022
How Luol Deng will commemorate the moment: https://t.co/9pe57xmNAM pic.twitter.com/iTi9herKX6
— Masta Red Snappa (@MastaRedSnappa) July 1, 2022
IT IS OFFICIAL: The Los Angeles Lakers are no longer paying Luol Deng as the league calendar flips to the 2022-23 season financially.
An end of an era in Los Angeles.
— Brett Siegel (@BrettSiegelNBA) July 1, 2022
For some perspective, here is a list of just how bad the 2016 free agency period was for the entire NBA.
2016 Free Agency was absolutely WILD
Nic Batum: 5 yr/$120M (Hornets)
Timofey Mozgov: 4 yr/$64M (Lakers)
Bismack Biyombo: 4 yr/$72M (Magic)
Luol Deng: 4yr/$72M (Lakers)
Chandler Parsons: 4yr/$94M (Grizzlies)
Ryan Anderson: 4yr/$80M (Rockets)
Joakim Noah: 4yr/$72M (Knicks) pic.twitter.com/4H2l9Q9uQm
— The Lead (@TheLeadSM) June 30, 2022
But, for the Lakers, the Deng contract lived much longer, and now they are freed. This will easily go down as one of the worst contracts in NBA history. More than that, the 2016 free agency will go down as one of the worst in history.