The Lakers were without four players for their first preseason game on Saturday. Three were expected to be out in Brook Lopez, Andrew Bogut, and Josh Hart, but the fourth was a late announcement as Luol Deng missed the game as well.
With Deng out, rookie Kyle Kuzma played almost exclusively at the small forward position with veteran Corey Brewer also spending some time there as well behind starter Brandon Ingram.
With the Lakers set to play the Denver Nuggets in their second preseason game, the team announced that Deng will be available to play via Lakers Nation reporter Matt Moreno:
Lakers say only injury update for tonight is Luol Deng is available to play.
— Matthew Moreno (@MMoreno1015) October 2, 2017
Bogut, Lopez, and Hart will remain out for Monday’s game, but Deng will give Luke Walton another option on the wing behind Ingram. After a subpar first season, Deng will look to prove that he can still be an important part of the rotation.
Deng, of course, will be facing some stiff competition. Kuzma continued to impress in the first preseason game, leading the Lakers in scoring, and Brewer also proved to be an ideal wing to play in the Lakers’ uptempo system. With Julius Randle and Larry Nance Jr. also needing minutes at power forward, it’s tough to see Deng finding a regular spot in the rotation.
Nonetheless it will be good to see if Deng is capable of turning around his Lakers career. He has worked hard to get ready this offseason and Monday will provide his first opportunity to show the fans and coaches what he can do.