Photo by Rich Arden / ESPN Images(LOS ANGELES) — Two veteran members of the Los Angeles Lakers have agreed to be effectively shut down for the remaining weeks of the NBA season in an effort to help the team work with younger players.
ESPN reports that Luol Deng and Timofey Mozgov, each signed to big contracts last summer, will be shut down for the final fifteen games of the season. The Lakers are 20-47 and well out of the playoff race.
They do, however, have reason to lose games. The Lakers’ first-round draft pick would be sent to the Philadelphia 76ers this summer if it is not among the first three selections in the draft. Currently, the Lakers have the second-worst record in the league.
Deng, 31, and Mozgov, 30, have played only sporadically in recent weeks and have lost their starting jobs. ESPN reports that the pair was comfortable with shutting down for the rest of the season after meeting individually with head coach Luke Walton.
Deng signed a four-year, $72 million deal this past offseason, while Mozgov’s contract was worth four years and $64 million. Neither player has played since March 5.
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