The Los Angeles Lakers have announced their acquisition of center Mo Bamba from the Orlando Magic in exchange for guard Patrick Beverley and a second-round pick.
A former sixth overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, Bamba brings size, rim protection and floor-spacing to the Lakers. A legit seven-footer, Bamba averages 1.4 blocks for his five-year NBA career, all of which has been spent with the Magic. He is also a career 36 percent 3-point shooter, but is knocking down a career-high 39.8 percent this season on 2.7 attempts per game.
Bamba enjoyed the best season of his career last year when he appeared in 71 games for the Magic, starting in 69 of them. He averaged 10.6 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.7 blocks while shooting 48 percent from the field and 38.1 percent from 3-point range.
He will now join a revamped Lakers frontline led by Anthony Davis that also includes the recently acquired Rui Hachimura and Jarred Vanderbilt as well as the energetic Wenyen Gabriel. This acquisition gives the Lakers different options depending on the situation as Bamba gives coach Darvin Ham another true big man to turn to against some of the true centers the Lakers will face.
The Lakers are sending out Beverley and a second-rounder in the deal. The veteran guard and one of the leaders of the team was a beloved teammate and set the tone on defense for the Lakers, regularly taking the task of defending the opposition’s best player.
Beverley averaged 6.4 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists this season while shooting 34.8 percent from 3-point range. But numbers don’t do Beverley’s impact justice as he was often a spark plug and catalyst for the Lakers with his defensive intensity and attitude.
Lakers acquire Davon Reed from Denver Nuggets for Thomas Bryant
Earlier on Thursday the Lakers made another trade, dealing away center Thomas Bryant to the Denver Nuggets in exchange for guard Davon Reed and three second-round draft picks.
Reed is another potential 3-and-D wing who has bounced around the league for the past few seasons but has some untapped potential the Lakers could bring out. Reed is a career 38.4 percent 3-point shooter and has shot 40.8 percent from deep over the last two seasons with the Nuggets.
Bryant did an excellent job for the Lakers in the absence of Anthony Davis but has struggled in a diminished role since Davis returned, along with the acquisition of Hachimura. Bryant will now have the opportunity to carve out a consistent backup role behind reigning MVP Nikola Jokic in Denver.
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