The Los Angeles Lakers added some reinforcements at the trade deadline that made the team more talented in the short term while adding more long-term flexibility. For what the team gave up (compared to the market price of other players) it was a win for the Lake Show.
One new player that is yet to make his Lakers debut is Mo Bamba, who has been dubbed as the discount Myles Turner. Bamba was suspended four games for his altercation with Austin Rivers while he was still with the Orlando Magic and he can return from that suspension on Wednesday against the New Orleans Pelicans.
Adding Bamba to the mix should change the lineups and rotations that head coach Darvin Ham throws out there against the Pelicans. While fans may not have much faith in Ham right now, there is a best-case lineup that he should pencil in with Bamba returning.
Ideal Lakers starting lineup with Mo Bamba debuting on Wednesday:
- PG: D’Angelo Russell
- SG: Austin Reaves
- SF: LeBron James
- PF: Anthony Davis
- C: Mo Bamba
Will Darvin Ham roll out this lineup? Probably not. Ham seems to have a fascination with playing multiple point guards together and has already put D’Angelo Russell and Dennis Schroder in the lineup together multiple times.
Mo Bamba and LeBron James returning do not add a guard to play at the two but it should be an eye-opener to Ham that he shouldn’t have another ball-dominant player on the floor, especially while LeBron is out there.
If Ham was smart, he would stagger some of the Schroder minutes with Russell and James to avoid having too many ball-dominant players on the floor at once. This way they actually have someone to help run the offense while LeBron and/or Russell are sitting.
Bamba getting the start should solely happen to see how he plays alongside Anthony Davis. Eventually, the team is going to need to see how he plays in crunch time with AD but for the time being, they can throw him in the starting lineup to give him 6-8 dedicated minutes next to AD to start the game.
That is the smart thing to do, at least. Los Angeles really seems to like Rui Hachimura (for good reason) and may end up starting him with LeBron and Davis in the frontcourt. While that is fine, it would be nice to see the team deploy a bit bigger of a lineup with Bamba, especially because he can shoot.
The Los Angeles Lakers have two picks in the 2023 NBA Draft even after the trade deadline. In this NBA mock draft, LA targets wings to bolster the roster.
But who knows what will actually happen. Ham hasn’t shown that he has a great grasp on lineups and rotations this season, so we will probably see some wonky combination that doesn’t make much sense.