The Los Angeles Lakers made another bold move in free agency on Saturday. According to The Vertical's Shams Charania, the Lakers have agreed to sign Luol Deng to a four-year, $72 million contract.
The Lakers seem focused on pairing more experienced veterans with the young core of D'Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle. They signed Timofey Mozgov at the start of free agency and now they've added Deng.
The Lakers did have to pay quite a bit to get Deng, who is 31, but this is a good move. Deng is well respected around the league and is just the calming veteran presence the Lakers need in their locker room. Also with Deng on the Lakers, new coach Luke Walton has a veteran he can lean on and turn to when needed.
From a basketball standpoint, Deng fits quite nicely with the Lakers. He can play multiple positions and will immediately be their starting small forward. Deng has been on a decline since his glory days on the Chicago Bulls, where he was a two-time All-Star, but he is still a versatile and productive player. Last season with the Heat, Deng averaged 12.3 points while shooting 45.5 percent to go along with six rebounds, 1.9 assists and a steal a game.
Deng may not be the superstar the Lakers coveted at the start of free agency but this is a solid signing for them. With such a young roster, Deng gives the Lakers some stability and is a player that has experience actually winning games.