How the Lakers can part ways with Luol Deng sooner than you might think

Total 86,638,512

Projected Cap 109,000,000

Cap Room 22,261,508

As described by Adrian Wojnarowski and Ian Begley in a story they did for ESPN regarding the Knicks facing the identical situation with Joakim Noah (2 more years, way too much money owed, and zero palpable trade options) the Lakers and Deng can basically leapfrog a whole year of uncomfortable DNP CDs if they waive him after September 1st, at that point stretching only the final year of his contract over the ensuing three seasons. In essence, with the 2018-2019 contract already a sunk cost, the Lakers would be stretching only the final year for Deng (18,810,000) over the summers of 2019, 2020, and 2021, but they’d be doing it now instead of next summer.

Still, either way you slice it the team needs a projected $32.7 million in room for any of the above mentioned players, and aside from unloading a bunch of draft picks or assets to dump Deng without taking back any salary, the waive and stretch seems like the least objectionable option. Fortunately, as mentioned earlier, the Lakers don’t need to wait all season to make this move, but just 3 more weeks. In that case, if they simply wait to stretch Deng after September 1st, their 2019 cap room would now look something like this.

Luol Deng Stretched 6,270,000 in 2019/2020/2021

Added Roster Charge (the spot opened by a waived Deng) 838,464

Final Cap Room 34,063,024