Shams Charania: Free agent Luol Deng has reached agreement on a four-year, $72 million deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, league sources tell The Vertical.
February 26, 2017 | 6:38 am EST Update
The Cavaliers also are monitoring Philadelphia center Andrew Bogut, who is engaged in contract buyout talks to enter free agency. Bogut has had a phone conversation with 76ers coach Brett Brown since his trade from Dallas, league sources said, and he respects Brown and the culture of the 76ers. However, Bogut wants to pursue a championship and play a significant role for a veteran team.
My sources also told me that NBA vice president Kiki Vandeweghe and Bob Delaney flew out here and met with DeMarcus a day or so before he was tagged with his 16th technical and that the meeting was not well received. But what finally moved you from pause to pushing the button? Was there a tipping point? Vlade Divac: It was a lot of things, but basically, I thought it was time to start over. There was a lot of bad stuff happening here the last five years, a lot of bad habits. There were always issues, many you don’t even know about. Now I believe strongly this was the right thing to do for our future. Now I have a clear vision. This city deserves better, and I want to create that. With DeMarcus’ situation, I basically was stuck.
Then why tell ESPN two weeks ago that you were keeping Cousins and expected him to be around for a long time – which suggests a contract extension was in the works? Vlade Divac: Because I really did not have (good offers) for DeMarcus. In all the conversations I was having with GMs, we weren’t going to get anything. People were scared because of his history. So I felt confident he was going to stay with us, and I was going to work with him, and we would do the best we can. But then I got the offer from the Pelicans a few days before the All-Star Game. That was a difference of, what, two weeks from what I had said to ESPN? Everything changed.
Is it true that you approached Cousins’ agents earlier this year about encouraging him to seek anger management therapy? You would not be the first Kings official to make such a request, by the way. Vlade Divac: Actually, that happened, and this time, they seemed more receptive. But I wasn’t sure if that was because the contract was coming up or what, so I wasn’t sure how to take it. Again, I wanted change, to start over. Acquire assets, build it right. At the same time play hard, play up-tempo, share the ball. Be a team, grow together.