The Los Angeles Lakers had a very confusing season last year. They started off quite tame after trading for Russell Westbrook. They missed the playoffs two seasons ago and even held a record of 13-20 at the start of last season. Things weren’t looking good for the LeBron James-led franchise.
Everything changed at the trade deadline. The Lakers who previously looked dead in the water, made a series of stunning moves to make the team younger and much better. Looking back it really seems insane to think that Rob Pelinka was able to turn Russell Westbrook, some picks, and other redundant contracts into D’Angelo Russell, Rui Hachimura, Jared Vanderbilt, Malik Beasly, and Mohammad Bamba.
The Lakers turned their season around and somehow made it all the way to the Western Conference finals, where they were ultimately swept by Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets. The consensus reasoning for their downfall was the lack of an adequate big man who could hold his own down low but also get buckets from the post.
Los Angeles Lakers sign big man after releasing Mohammad Bamba
Most fans would assume that ‘LeGM’ LeBron James was able to overtly tamper a little bit behind the scenes and convince an old friend Kevin Love to join the Lakers on one last glory run to try and win a ring but sadly Love chose to return to the resurgent Miami Heat on a two-year deal.
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) July 1, 2023
Another move Los Angeles has yet to make is the re-signing of free-agent center Mo Bamba. They acquired Bamba at the trade deadline last season. In just 9 games, Bamba averaged 4 points, a block, and 5 rebounds on barely meaningful minutes.
Bamba is known as a long and strong rim protector who can also score to some extent. While he wouldn’t solve all of LA’s inside problems it would certainly be a step in the right direction, but at the moment there are no indications of the Lakers targeting Bamba, and that could in part be due to the fact that they already made a signing for a young upcoming center.
The Lakers recently signed former lottery pick big man Jaxson Hayes to a 2-year $4,628,946 deal. Considering Hayes’ explosive finishing and rim protection this is a steal of a deal and he looks to start alongside Anthony Davis for the 2023 season.