Luol Deng had his best years in Chicago but has since to recall his old form. On his second year with the Lakers, the 32-year-old is staying positive as he tries once again to show he fits in both as a player and as a mentor.

The Sudanese had a rough first year with the Lakers with expectations raised high. He was signed to a hefty four-year deal worth $72 million, a move basketball critics felt was too much. Now on his second year, the former Duke standout reveals how he is working on his game and ready for whatever role the Lakers have for him this coming season.

Embracing the mentor role

Aside from performing once he is called upon to the floor, Deng is fully aware that his other duty is to guide the young small forwards on the Lakers roster. One name that stands out is sophomore Brandon Ingram, a promising rookie that is still rough around the edges.

The two-time NBA all-star knows that mentoring Ingram is one of many things the Lakers expect from him, something he is ready to fulfill. “No matter what my role is or what I’m able to do, it doesn’t take away what I can apply to these young guys and what I can pass forward. I love seeing them do well and succeed,” Deng was quoted of saying in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.

Making the most of his stay in LA

Knowing Deng is trying to fit in and work with the Lakers is good news. However, other factors could hinder his stay. At the top of the list is his hefty salary, something he got from the previous Lakers management team of Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss.

With the Lakers reportedly planning to go after the likes of LeBron James and Paul George in 2018, unloading the huge salaries from several players will be needed.

Deng is a leading candidate though he prefers not to think of it right now according to Lakers Nation.

At some point, the Sudanese-born-British may eventually get traded or bought out. But until that happens, Deng plans to work on his game and show that he still has the same hops he showed NBA fans when he was still in Chicago.

Looking ahead, Deng could be of interest to other teams looking for a scoring threat and someone who can teach younger players a thing or two. To gain attention and raise his stock, the best he can do is show how effective he can still be by helping the Lakers this 2017-18 NBA season. It will be an interesting season for Deng who is out to prove that he can still be an efficient player if given the opportunity on and off the hardwood.