The Los Angeles Lakers almost traded Russell Westbrook for Myles Turner and Buddy Hield before the 2022-23 season but ultimately decided it was not worth it. The team eventually traded Russell Westbrook in a three-team deal before the deadline and now managed to get a discount version of Turner at a miraculous price.
The Lakers reportedly agreed to trade point guard Patrick Beverley to the Orlando Magic for 24-year-old center Mo Bamba. A hole at center opened for the Lakers when they traded Thomas Bryant to the Denver Nuggets for three second-round picks.
Los Angeles is also going to send second-round draft capital to Orlando for Bamba. After getting three picks for Bryant, Los Angeles will still end up in the net-positive in second-round picks acquired on Thursday.
Mo Bamba gives the Lakers a similar presence as Myles Turner would have.
Mo Bamba is not as good as Myles Turner and is not going to produce at the same levels as Turner would have. However, Bamba could produce 80% of what Turner would have produced in the purple and gold as his fit is nearly identical to that of Turner.
Bamba is a floor-spacing big that can knock down shots from beyond the arc while also providing a rim-protecting presence inside. Like Turner, he is the perfect kind of big to play next to Anthony Davis as he can stretch the floor on offense while also doing some of the dirty center work on the other end.
Bamba is averaging 7.3 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in only 17 minutes per game while shooting 39.8% from beyond the arc. That may not seem great but his per-36 numbers are not that far off from Turner’s. Bamba averages 15.3 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per 36 minutes. Turner averages 21.3 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.9 blocks.
For someone who costs a fraction of the price as Turner would have, Mamba’s numbers are pretty close. Bamba may not quite be the scoring threat that Turner is in terms of overall output but that is not what the Lakers need.
Most importantly, the Lakers continue to infuse youth into the roster. Bamba is yet another player 26 and under on the roster that is also under contract next season. Even better, Bamba’s $10.3 million is non-guaranteed next season, so the Lakers could cut ties if it does not work out or rework the deal to a smaller number.
The Los Angeles Lakers traded Russell Westbrook in a three-team deal on Wednesday and it was an absolute heist for the purple and gold.
There are now seven players on the roster that are 26 years or older. Rob Pelinka has done a great job of improving the roster now while also setting the team up for the future.