Lakers Rumors: Mo Bamba Waived Before 2023-24 Contract Becomes Guaranteed
Mo Bamba, Lakers
Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

It’s no secret that the Los Angeles Lakers made a lot of changes at the trade deadline last season, and one of them was sending Patrick Beverley and a second round pick to the Orlando Magic for center Mo Bamba.

After trading away Thomas Bryant, the Lakers were in need of a backup center, particularly one that could protect the rim and space the floor on the offensive end.

Bamba fit that mold despite seeing his playing time decrease throughout the season in Orlando, so the Lakers took a chance on the 25-year-old.

Unfortunately, Bamba did not get much of an opportunity to show what he could do in L.A. as he was limited to just nine games, missing significant time with a high ankle sprain. After being able to return at the start of the postseason, Bamba’s ankle continued to give him issues which forced him to miss more time.

Bamba signed a two-year, $20.6 million contract with the Magic in free agency last summer although only half of the money was guartanteed.

That means that the Lakers have the ability to waive him ahead of the June 30 deadline if they do not want to pay Bamba $10.3 million for the 2023-24 season. It appears they are doing just that, according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports:

Ideally the Lakers would have been able to use Bamba and his salary as part of a trade so they don’t lose that salary slot. Getting a deal done obviously wasn’t easy though as after a subpar season from Bamba, his value around the league is not at $10 million currently.

In 49 total games last season, Bamba averaged 6.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 0.9 blocks while shooting 38.7% from 3-point range in 15.7 minutes per game.

Now a free agent, Bamba will likely have plenty of suitors at a lower price with the Lakers potentially being among them. The center position is something the Lakers will need to address this offseason, and Bamba still has the traits that they are looking for if he can stay healthy.

Lakers have ‘serious interest in Bruce Brown

Part of waiving Bamba may have been so the Lakers can have access to the non-taxpayer mid-level exception of slight more than $12 million.

Using that would hard cap the Lakers, but it may be worth it if they can find someone they really like and reports indicate that person is Denver Nuggets wing Bruce Brown.

Brown would be a nice fit on the Lakers, although he should have plenty of suitors once free agency begins on Friday.

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