Proposed Trade Lands Lakers $36 Million Sharpshooter for Mo Bamba

Lakers center Mo Bamba

Getty Lakers center Mo Bamba

A new trade proposal would land the Los Angeles Lakers a $36 million sharpshooter for center Mo Bamba.

In a June 1 article titled “1 Trade Idea for Every Team Not In the 2023 NBA Finals,” Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report proposed that the Lakers send Bamba to the Brooklyn Nets for small forward Royce O’Neale.

“The Nets are suddenly loaded with wings but thin in the frontcourt. The Lakers could use another three-and-D perimeter option and have a big to spare. A swap to satisfy both needs makes sense,” Swartz wrote. “Brooklyn gets Bamba, a mobile 7-footer who can start at power forward or play either post position off the bench. The 25-year-old knocked down 38.7 percent of his threes last season and has proved to be an effective shot-blocker.

“O’Neale fits nicely into a starting lineup featuring LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Austin Reaves with his defensive versatility and floor spacing. He’s as consistent as they come from the outside, shooting between 38.5 percent and 38.9 percent from three in each of the past three seasons.”

Bamba split time with the Orlando Magic and Lakers this season. The Texas product averaged 6.6 points and 4.6 rebounds in 49 games while shooting 48.5% from the field, 38.7% from beyond the arc and 66.1% from the free-throw line.

Los Angeles traded guard Patrick Beverley to Orlando for Bamba at the February trade deadline.

Meanwhile, O’Neale averaged 8.8 points, 5.1 boards and 3.7 assists for the Nets while shooting 38.6% overall, 38.9% from 3-point land and 72.5% from the charity stripe. Brooklyn acquired the 29-year-old from the Utah Jazz in June 2022. O’Neale signed a four-year, $36 million deal with the Jazz in 2020.

What Will the Lakers Do This Offseason?

Jovan Buha of The Athletic says the Lakers’ tentative offseason plan is to run it back “with as much of this past season’s group as they can possibly afford.”

Los Angeles turned its season around and reached the Western Conference Finals after acquiring Rui Hachimura, D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt and Bamba.

“The tentative plan for the Lakers is to run it back with as much of this past season’s group as they can possibly afford under the new, stricter collective bargaining agreement,” Buha wrote. “They will only pursue a third star if they deem that player of a certain caliber and believe he can fit next to James and Davis.

“I think they run it back, or try to upgrade the point guard/lead ballhandler spot (Kyrie Irving, Fred VanVleet, Trae Young, etc.).”

LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Max Christie and Vanderbilt are the only players under contract for next season. Russell, Lonnie Walker IV, Dennis Schroder, Troy Brown Jr. and Tristan Thompson become unrestricted free agents this offseason, Austin Reaves and Hachimura become restricted free agents, Beasley has a club option and Bamba has a non-guaranteed contract.

Naz Reid to the Lakers?

According to Peter Dewey of Lakers Daily, the Lakers would like to sign Naz Reid this summer in unrestricted free agency.

“Minnesota Timberwolves big man Naz Reid could be an option for the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason in free agency,” Dewey wrote. “Sources tell Lakers Daily that the Lakers are interested in acquiring Reid, who will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Reid, 23, has spent the last four seasons with the Timberwolves and became a key part of their rotation in the 2022-23 season with Karl-Anthony Towns missing time due to a calf injury.”

Reid averaged 11.5 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.1 assists this season while shooting 53.7% from the floor, 34.6% from 3 and 67.7% from the free-throw line. He suffered a left wrist injury on March 29 against the Phoenix Suns and underwent season-ending surgery.

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