Luol Deng is set to become a free agent this offseason after being traded away from the Chicago Bulls earlier in the year. He will be looking to maximize his prime years in a good environment, and the Los Angeles Lakers would be wise to convince him to sign a short-term contract with the team. He is a hard-working wing player who would immediately upgrade their perimeter defense and give them another scoring option.
Deng has been involved in plenty of trade rumors between the Bulls and the Lakers. He has always been a really good player, especially on the defensive end. He has great size and length, which gives offensive players a lot of trouble. He is very intelligent and understands how to play great team defense, and where he needs to be on the court.
Offensively, he is an average three-point shooter, but his percentage hasn’t been as strong since the team lost playmaker Derrick Rose. He has been forced into being a primary option, but does a lot better when he is not the main focus of the offense. Deng understands spacing and is willing to move off the ball to create more opportunities. He is a good passer from the forward position, and a good rebounder as well.
Deng would be a great locker room addition, and his effort on every possession would fit well with veterans Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash. He is a high-character player who would also serve as a good mentor for the younger players on the roster.
Deng’s all-around game and defensive skill makes him an ideal fit with the Lakers. It is likely that he will be looking for a long-term contract to maximize earning potential, but the organization must convince him that he would be a great asset for Bryant’s last two years. He would help to solve their problem of finding talent on the wing, and allow them to pursue other role-players to fill out their roster. The Lakers would be wise to sign Deng to a short-term contract.