The Lakers – attempting to exclude Luol Deng’s salary ($5 million each of the next two seasons) from salary-cap, luxury-tax an hard-cap calculations – tried to prove an injury suffered while he was with the Lakers “prevents him from playing skilled professional basketball at an NBA level for the duration of his career.”
Three major problems:
Though Deng played only one game his final season with the Los Angeles (the opener), then-Lakers coach Luke Walton said that March Deng was “still really good at basketball.”
Deng played 22 games with the Timberwolves the following season.
Unsurprisingly, the Lakers’ gambit failed.
Shams Charania of The Athletic:
Deng will still get his money regardless.
The Lakers just don’t gain flexibility with the salary cap, luxury tax and hard cap.
And 29 other teams rejoice about the rare time not everything falls into place for the Lakers.