Mo Bamba is Headed to the Los Angeles Lakers
Aside from the Phoenix Suns, the Los Angeles Lakers may be winning the NBA trade deadline. After sending Russell Westbrook out in a three-team deal and acquiring D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley, and Jarred Vanderbilt, the organization has also added young center Mo Bamba into the mix, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
Patrick Beverley is headed to the Orlando Magic along with second-round draft compensation.
First of all, this is an absolutely insane run on trade right now. My phone will not stop buzzing as trade after trade comes through the wire. And, guess what, none have to do with the Bulls! HA *eye twitch* HA!
Anyway, this feels like yet another massive steal for the Lakers, who acquire a 24-year-old Bamba that is one season removed from a career year. While he’s struggled to repeat last season’s success, the Magic have had a bit of a logjam in terms of their young talent. Not to mention, our old friend Wendell Carter Jr. has clearly become the main building block in the frontcourt. There is still reason to believe that a greater role could keep Bamba heading in the right developmental direction.
Whether or not a high-pressure situation in LA is the best for him is yet to be seen, but he should have plenty of opportunity with the franchise moving on from backup big man Thomas Bryant earlier today. The versatility he provides as both a stretch big and shot blocker should also be a solid fit next to Anthony Davis or the smaller Jarred Vanderbilt.
Considering the price tag was so small, I do have to wonder if the Bulls at all sniffed around the idea of making an offer. They were reportedly interested in the big man during his restricted free agency this past summer, and we all know they run the risk of Nikola Vucevic leaving this summer and needing a new big man. At the same time, Bamba’s price tag is seemingly what pushed them away, so perhaps they weren’t a fan of his current contract.