Free-agent forward Luol Deng has signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves on a one-year deal, the terms of which were first reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Deng entered the free agent market on Sep. 1 when he agreed to a contract buyout with the Los Angeles Lakers. His one-year deal with Minnesota is reportedly worth $2.4 million.
Deng appeared in 56 games during his first season with the Lakers, but he played just one game last season with Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka in charge of the Lakers’ front office.
Although the 14-year NBA veteran was the Lakers’ highest-paid player last season, he essentially wasn’t part of the team. He appeared in the season opener before dropping out of the rotation and eventually spending long stretches away from the Lakers.
The two-time All-Star felt he didn’t fit well into coach Luke Walton’s up-tempo system, and he apparently declined to rejoin the rotation when the Lakers were slowed by injuries.
The 33-year-old forward has experience with Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau, who coached Deng in Chicago from 2010-13. Wojnarowski has more on Thibodeau’s pitch to Deng:
Thibodeau has made no promises to Deng on playing time and role, but has offered the chance to earn minutes on a roster that includes three of his ex-Chicago Bulls teammates — Jimmy Butler, Derrick Rose and Taj Gibson.
Deng was selected with the No. 7 pick of the 2004 NBA Draft. He has career averages of 15.0 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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