The Los Angeles Lakers have a bright future ahead of them, but they do not appear ready to contend for a playoff spot this season. This is the main reason why they are still expected to make moves either to acquire more young players or shed salaries to create more cap room for the 2018 NBA free agency.

Three games into the 2017-18 NBA season, veteran forward Luol Deng and big young man Julius Randle look expendable. According to Hoops Habit, Deng and Randle might be traded before the deadline on February 8.

Deng lost spot in Los Angeles Lakers rotation

Lakers head coach Luke Walton announced that Deng is unlikely to get playing time moving forward. The announcement came after Kentavious Caldwell-Pope made his debut for Los Angeles.

“As of now he’s not in the rotation as far as consistently penciled in without something happening,” Walton said of Deng, the Orange County Register reported. The veteran small forward played 13 minutes in their season opener against the Los Angeles Clippers and was not used in their next two games.

The Lakers are expected to consider moving Deng but finding a taker will be easier said than done. The 32-year-old has an unfriendly contract, as he is just playing in the second season of the four-year, $72 million deal, he signed last year as a free agent.

Julius Randle could be a sweetener in a Luol Deng trade

If the Lakers really want to move Deng’s bad contract to create cap room next summer, they might need to include one of their young assets. According to Hoops Habit, Randle might be trade chip the Lakers need in order to convince teams to take Deng in a trade.

Randle also looks expendable after not getting a contract extension and losing his starting spot to Larry Nance Jr.

The 22-year-old has made it no secret that he is frustrated with a role in the second unit after starting in 73 of the 74 games he played in last season.

According to the LA Daily News, the Lakers and Randle are likely headed to an inevitable divorce. He could be dealt before the deadline, as he is set to become a restricted free agent next season.

Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka have already shown that they are willing to give up young assets if it helps them create more cap room. In the offseason, the Lakers traded D’Angelo Russell along with the four-year, $64 million contract of Timofey Mozgov to the Brooklyn Nets in a salary-dumping move, which also gave them starting center Brook Lopez.