Luol Deng is a former professional basketball player who spent 15 years with the National Basketball Association, playing for the Minnesota Timberwolves last. He also coached the South Sudan basketball team for the FIBA AfroBasket 2021 Qualifiers.
Deng is 37 years old and here we will look into what exactly happened to his basketball career.
Luol Deng Facts
|Wau, Sudan (now South Sudan)
|Net Worth (2022)
|Date of Birth
|16 April 1985
|6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)
|237 lb (108 kg)
|British / South Sudanese
|NBA Draft Year
|NBA Draft Pick
|Round 1 / 7th Overall
|2004 – 2019
|Small Forward / Power Forward
|Bulls, Cavaliers, Heat, Lakers, Timberwolves (NBA)
Luol Deng Playing Career
Luol Deng started out as a brilliant basketball prospect. He moved to South London when he was very young and represented England in the Europe Junior Men’s Qualifying Tournament, averaging 40 points and 14 rebounds at just 13 years of age. He also led England to the Junior Men’s National Tournament and won the MVP award in both. He moved to the USA to play basketball at Blair Academy, New Jersey. He was listed number one in the small forward list in the nation and earned a full scholarship to Duke University.
Deng became the 10th freshman in ACC history to lead all freshmen in scoring, rebounding, and field goal percentage, taking Duke to the final four. He declared for the NBA Draft after that year and was picked seventh by the Phoenix Suns. The Chicago Bulls acquired him on a pre-draft agreement. He suffered a wrist injury in his rookie year but still made it into the NBA All-Rookie First Team. During his stint with the Bulls, he made was named two times in the All-Star team and was on the All-Defensive second team.
Deng helped the Bulls back into the playoffs after a seven-year gap. He earned a $71 million extension for six years in 2008, handed to him by John Paxon. After a decade in Chicago, he was finally traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers where he averaged 14.1 points and 2.5 assists before signing for Miami.
With the Heat, Deng set a franchise playoff debut record with 31 points on 11-for-13 shooting in the first round of the playoffs. Subsequently, he signed with Los Angeles Lakers on a four-year $78 million deal, raising the biggest controversial period of his playing career. He became the highest-paid player during his two years in Los Angeles but was waived after two years. The former NBA big man spent his final season with the Minnesota Timberwolves but everyone noticed just how much he had deteriorated. After one year, he left the NBA and is now tipped to become a coach.
What Happened To Luol Deng?
Luol Deng was once a great NBA player but he could not reach his full potential. One of the major factors behind his downfall was injuries. He did not play more than 70 games since the 2015-16 season.
The South Sudan citizen suffered a spinal tap in 2013. He was diagnosed with meningitis but it was later revealed to be a wrong diagnosis by the Chicago Bulls. With a fluid leak from his spine, Deng almost lost his life but fortunately, made a full recovery.
What Happened To Luol Deng’s Contract With The Lakers?
Luol Deng was signed on a lucrative $72 million deal with the Lakers for four seasons. He was the highest-paid player on the roster after Kobe Bryant’s retirement along with Timothy Mozgov. Soon after Magic Johnson became president of the Lakers, Deng’s career went downhill with a coach, Luke Walton benching him for the youngster, Brandon Ingram.
Deng did not even make the team bench while being stuck to a massive contract and holding onto a lot of the team’s salary space. In October 2020, the Lakers submitted a career-ending injury application to get his salary exempted from the official team’s books. The NBA rejected the application and Deng continues to get paid in retained salary to this day. He received $5 million in 2021.
FAQs About Luol Deng
Deng made $5 million in retained salary for the 2021-22 season.
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