Lakers head coach Luke Walton said Sunday that Deng will be a fixture on the inactive list this season, Bill Oram of The Orange County Register reports. "As of now, [Deng's] not in the rotation as far as consistently penciled in without something happening," Walton said. Deng logged 13 minutes in the season opener as a replacement starter for the suspended Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, but the veteran forward has failed to get off the bench the last two games. That was often the case in the second half of the 2016-17 campaign when Walton cleared the way for the team's younger players to pick up minutes, and it appears Deng will continue to remain marginalized while Brandon Ingram, Larry Nance, Julius Randle and Kyle Kuzma see the bulk of the run at either forward spot. With Deng barely into the second year of the four-year, $72 million pact he signed last July, the Lakers probably won't be able to find a trading partner willing to pick up the remainder of his massive contract.
Deng will come off the bench for Friday's game against the Suns, Craig Grialou of ArizonaSports.com reports. Deng will be replaced by Corey Brewer at small forward after an uninspiring start in Thursday's season opening loss to the Clippers. The veteran recorded two points, one assists, and one steal across 13 minutes in the loss, and will presumably see a play a lesser role off the bench Friday.
Deng is starting at small forward in Thursday's game against the Clippers, Mike Bresnahan of Spectrum SportsNet reports. The Lakers will open the 2017-18 campaign with Brandon Ingram shifted to the shooting guard role and Deng holding down the small forward spot while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope serves his suspension. The veteran forward averaged just 7.3 points per game last season on a career-worst 38.7 percent shooting mark. Barring an sizable uptick in performance, the 32-year-old will be difficult to trust in daily and season-long fantasy settings.
Deng posted four points (2-4 FG, 0-1 3Pt), one rebound and two assists across 17 minutes in Wednesday's 122-104 preseason loss to the Nuggets. With Brandon Ingram (head) sitting, Deng drew the start but couldn't do much with the opportunity. The veteran forward had been much more effective in his preseason debut Monday while coming off the bench (nine points, six rebounds, one assist in 10 minutes), which is the role he's slated for in the coming season. Deng is competing with fellow veteran Corey Brewer for the top backup job behind Ingram, but both players could see a decent share of playing time if they're able to latch on to a roster spot.
Deng is starting at small forward Wednesday against the Nuggets, Mike Trudell of Lakers.com reports. Deng will get the start with Brandon Ingram unavailable due to a head contusion. He totaled nine points, six rebounds and an assist in 10 minutes during Monday's preseason game and should be in line for some increased playing time Wednesday with Ingram out.
Last 7 Games
|3 Year Avg||67||291||44.6||72||33.6||127||75.1||781||11.66||1397|