The quirk is the result of the remainder of Deng’s 2016 contract being stretched out in 2018 in order to fit LeBron James’ contract extension within the team’s salary cap.
Deng signed the $72 million deal with the Lakers in 2016, with the team hoping that the veteran could boost the team’s fortunes.
Instead, Deng’s first season with the team resulted in him averaging just 7.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. He played in just one game of the 2017-18 season and was eventually released in 2018, with the stretch provision ending this season after the Lakers pay him $5 million.
James had originally agreed to join the Lakers in 2018, then signed his two-year contract extension in late 2020.
In the case of Anthony and Howard, the two players signed contracts for the veteran’s minimum, which will be $2.64 million each this season.
While the embarrassing contract is not one of the Lakers’ finest moments, they’re hoping that the combined production of Anthony and Howard will be enough to capture another NBA title. If that occurs, then even the front office might be able to chuckle about the situation.