Irrespective of what happens with the Los Angeles Lakers between now and the end of the season, it’s clear they’re going to have some roster decisions to make.
One of those decisions will be regarding the contract situation of veteran big man Mo Bamba, who was acquired at the February 9 trade deadline but has struggled for fitness since joining the Purple and Gold. As things currently stand, Bamba has another year of his contract worth $10.3 million, although it is non-guaranteed.
According to Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus, Bamba could find himself becoming a potential trade target for the Dallas Mavericks, who could potentially be looking to add some cost-controlled size to their rotation.
“Per NBA sources, Dallas also eyed Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner and Atlanta Hawks forward/center John Collins before the trade deadline,” Pincus wrote. “The team could look into the availability of players such as O.G. Anunoby (Toronto Raptors), Jaden McDaniels (Minnesota Timberwolves), Luguentz Dort (Oklahoma City Thunder), Alex Caruso (Bulls), Gary Trent Jr. (Raptors, player option), Robert Covington (Los Angeles Clippers), Mo Bamba (Los Angeles Lakers) and Jalen Suggs (Orlando Magic), among many others.”
Bamba recently returned to the Lakers rotation during their April 7 contest against the Phoenix Suns after missing their last 15 games, and now, Darvin Ham and the Lakers coaching staff will be hoping he can integrate himself into the team’s rotation.
Anthony Davis Name Drops Mo Bamba
Following the Lakers’ recent loss to the LA Clippers on April 5, superstar forward Anthony Davis discussed his team’s need to build chemistry, noting how having Mo Bamba back on the bench (albeit in street clothes) was a good step forward.
“I probably had it in my mind that I was going to play regardless just because of the game. But I think we gained more chemistry,” Davis said. “Even though it’s not the result we wanted, we were able to get a healthy squat. Even though Mo didn’t play, just getting him back. Getting all our guys back and healthy and getting reps out on the floor for these last two games and then leading into the playoffs.”
LeBron James Issues Statement on Austin Reaves
If there has been one breakout star for the Lakers this season, it’s Austin Reaves. The second-year guard has quickly established himself as an integral member of the Lakers rotation and continues to improve on a game-to-game basis.
“I didn’t have expectations for him,” James said. “When you get an undrafted guy on your roster, you don’t really have many expectations for him, but I knew the player that we were getting because as I said, I did watch a lot of film on him and seen his ability to play the point, play off the ball. He had a high basketball IQ, being able to either make plays for himself or find open guys and I could just see the IQ working every time he was playing a game at Oklahoma.”
The Lakers currently sit 7th in the Western Conference, 0.5 games behind the Clippers with one game remaining on their schedule, as such, there is still a chance they can qualify for the postseason without the need for the play-in tournament, although that chance is slim. Los Angeles will play their last game of the regular season on April 9, when they face off against the Utah Jazz.