Lakers Acquire Mo Bamba, Trade Away Patrick Beverley
Pelinka and the Lakers have been active this trade deadline. They have completed a deal with the Orlando Magic that will send Patrick Beverley and second-round pick compensation for Mo Bamba.
Sources said the Lakers are sending second-round draft compensation with Patrick Beverley to Orlando for Mo Bamba -- a major get for a reworked frontline around Anthony Davis and LeBron James. https://t.co/ZEqa6M4b4R— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 9, 2023
This comes after trading away Thomas Bryant this morning, who requested out in pursuit of a bigger role. LA now fills that center spot by acquiring Bamba.
The Lakers are trading Thomas Bryant to the Nuggets for Davon Reed and three second-round picks, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 9, 2023
This trade also sends Patrick Beverley away, who has been inconsistent for LA this season. He brought energy and intensity every night, but they had a surplus of guards. Bamba makes much more sense for the roster.
The Lakers have completely rebuilt their rotation, acquiring Rui Hachimura, D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Bamba throughout the deadline.
They have gotten younger and have a much more balanced rotation around LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Lakers trading away Thomas Bryant and getting Mo Bamba is a BIG W. Bryant is on a minimum contract and would have been hard to bring back. Bamba has a non-guaranteed deal for next season, so we can keep him as the backup next year or let him go for cap flexibility for FA— Lakers All Day Everyday (@LADEig) February 9, 2023
Bamba will be a solid backup center for the Lakers and is under contract for next season. Being under contract for next season is key, as Bryant was on a minimum deal, and it would have been difficult for Pelinka to retain him. Bringing in Bamba gives them a backup center for this year and next. It’s also a non-guaranteed contract for next season, so if he doesn’t pan out or they want cap flexibility for the offseason, the Lakers can move on from him.
Bamba has seen limited minutes this season with the Magic due to a logjam in the frontcourt.
In 17 minutes per game this season, he is averaging 7/5/1, along with a block per game. He is shooting 49.5% from the field and 39.8% from three. The 24-year-old can be a shot blocker and floor spacer off the bench.
He is a significantly better defender than Bryant.
His game should fit well alongside LeBron and AD due to those qualities. Bamba should be a quality backup center for Darvin Ham’s rotation and help them make a playoff push.
LAKERS UPDATED DEPTH CHART— Lakers Lead (@LakersLead) February 9, 2023
PG: D’Angelo Russell, Dennis Schroder
SG: Malik Beasley, Austin Reaves, Lonnie Walker IV
SF: LeBron James, Max Christie, Troy Brown Jr.
PF: Anthony Davis, Rui Hachimura, Jarred Vanderbilt
C: Mo Bamba, Wenyen Gabriel
ROB PELINKA IS A WIZARD #LAKESHOW pic.twitter.com/eWX13LoQ6P
Pelinka and the front office have done a great job reformulating this roster around their star duo. With all these moves, the Lakers now have a quality rotation of role players, as they did in 2020 when they won the championship around LeBron and AD.
Pelinka deserves lots of credit for what he’s been able to do at the deadline.