Los Angeles Lakers player Luol Deng is expected not to be used by his team for the rest of the 2016/2017 season. According to ESPN's Ramona Shelbourne, the Lakers ''have effectively shut down healthy'' Deng. The veteran small forward from Sudan didn't see a minute of action in the last seven games of the L.A. team. He last played an NBA game on February 26th, against the San Antonio Spurs. Overall, Deng has played in 56 games for the Lakers this season, and has started in 49 games.

Is there a reason for this decision?

The Los Angeles Lakers have a talented and promising young core. The team has a record of 20 wins and 47 losses on the season, which makes them the worst team in the Western Conference.

It is clear that the 16-time NBA champions won't be featured in this year's NBA playoffs, and their focus has switched to some other things -- improving and developing those younger players on the roster.

Brandon Ingram, who was selected at number two in last year's NBA draft by the Lakers, has been a starter recently for his team. Ingram plays the same position as Luol Deng, and the rookie has replaced the Sudanese player in the starting lineup. The Lakers decided not to make Ingram a starter at the beginning of the season, giving starting small forward duties to Deng. But, as the season has progressed, and due to the team's current situation, that has changed. Ingram is taking advantage of the given opportunity, as he has averaged 13.8 points per game in the last five games -- on the season he averages 8.5 points, reveals ESPN.

Deng could still see some playing time

Ramona Shelbourne of ESPN did note that the Lakers ''could revisit the situation'' with Luol Deng before the season ends. Deng was signed by the Los Angeles Lakers in the offseason, and he is currently on a four-year deal worth $72 million. The fans of the team weren't particularly happy with the signing -- not because Deng is a bad player -- but they feel that he was overpaid.

Deng has averaged 7.6 points and 5.3 rebounds on the season so far.

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