The Los Angeles Lakers are looking into a possible trade or buyout involving veteran power forward Luol Deng, who has played in one game this season. Ramona Shelburne of ESPN said that the Lakers have met with Deng’s representatives to discuss possible solutions, including a trade or buyout. The 32-year-old Deng is in the second year of the four-year, $72 million contract that he signed last season. He will earn $17.1 million this season, $18 million the following season, and $18.8 million in the last year of the deal.

It will be hard for the Lakers to agree to either one of the two available solutions.

If they agree to a buyout, they will have to shell out a large sum of money to appease Deng. If they pursue a trade, it will be hard for them to find a suitable partner because of Deng’s lack of playing time this season. Last season, Deng averaged a career-low 7.6 points per game in 56 outings, with 49 starts. This season, Deng scored two points in 13 minutes of action in a 108-92 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers in their season-opener.

Deng a two-time All-Star

A two-time All-Star with the Chicago Bulls, Deng was a seventh overall pick by the Phoenix Suns in the 2004 Draft. He played 10 years with the Bulls before he was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers midway through the 2013-14 season. After the Cavaliers renounced their free-agent exception rights on Deng, he signed a two-year deal with the Heat.

He joined the Lakers in 2016 via a four-year deal. According to Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel, the Heat might be interested in a reunion with Deng. However, Winderman said Deng might join his former Bulls coach, Tom Thibodeau, with the Minnesota Timberwolves. In 880 career games, with 826 starts, the 6-foot-9 Deng averaged 15.0 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists.

He’s a career 45-percent shooter from the field, including 33 percent from three-point range.

Walton upfront with Deng about role with team

According to Deng, he met with Lakers coach Luke Walton, who has been upfront with him about his future with the team. Walton told Deng that the Lakers will rely on their young guys but he hopes the veteran will become a mentor and a good leader in the locker room.

Walton also encouraged Deng to be ready because of possible injuries to other players as the season goes along, as his services might be needed at some point. Currently, the Lakers rely on Larry Nance Jr., Julius Randle, and Kyle Kuzma in the power forward slot.