The number one goal on the Lakers’ agenda has to be to trade Luol Deng and part ways with his massive contract. Los Angeles owes Deng $54 million dollars over the next three seasons. Ten years ago, maybe you could argue Deng’s case and why he deserves that hefty contract. Now, the former star averages 7.2 points off the bench for LA.
However, the Lakers are in a predicament. No other team is going to want Luol Deng, and rightfully so. It would make no sense for a team to want to bring in a contract as terrible as Deng’s with his production; unless there was some incentive behind it. That incentive for the Lakers is Julius Randle.
Randle has already been shopped around before, as the young power forward was reportedly offered in a package for Paul George in June. Now, these trade talks have fizzled as the anticipation for the regular season is at an all-time high.
Yet, the possibility of a trade is still on the table, and there may be no better place to send Randle than the 76ers. Philadelphia is in a rebuilding stage of their own, yet is not as ready as the Lakers are to bring in superstars.
To stock up on young talent, the 76ers can send the expiring deal of Amir Johnson for Randle and Deng. Philly gets a young power forward to play with Joel Embiid and the Lakers get $23 million in free space; it is a win-win.