The Los Angeles Lakers got busy ahead of the NBA trade deadline after a dismal loss to the Thunder on national TV as the world watched LeBron James break the NBA’s all-time scoring record.
Since then, the Lakers have flipped Russell Westbrook and a first for D’Angelo Russell, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Malik Beasley, moved Thomas Bryant to Denver for Davon Reed and three second round picks, and, most recently, shipped Patrick Beverley off to Orlando for Mo Bamba — effectively replacing Bryant in the frontcourt rotation.
The Los Angeles Lakers are trading Patrick Beverley to the Orlando Magic for center Mo Bamba, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 9, 2023
The Magic are trading Mo Bamba to the Lakers, source tells ESPN. https://t.co/SkKZFce9nT
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 9, 2023
Bamba has played sparingly in Orlando, averaging just 17 minutes per game, but he is a capable three-point shooter (39.8 percent), replacing Bryant in the stretch-big category, and is a deterrent at the rim — even if he’s not an elite defender otherwise. Bamba is also coming off of a brawl with Austin Rivers a week ago, and the Lakers will face Rivers and the Wolves in just over three weeks. It’s not a ground-shaking addition by any stretch, but it addresses a minor need and continues to shift the locker room chemistry.
Given how the Lakers seemed to blast Russell Westbrook as he went out the door, I wouldn’t be surprised if we hear some things about Beverley not exactly being beloved in the L.A. locker room in the coming days. On the court, moving Beverley clears up some of the logjam the Lakers had in the backcourt, as they can now firmly turn things over to Russell and Dennis Schröder at the point guard spot, with Dennis now serving as their primary defensive pest. Beverley, meanwhile, is expected to hit the buyout market along with a number of other players once the deadline passes.
It’s unlikely Patrick Beverley will play for the Magic, sources told @orlandosports. https://t.co/EZdujfxKHe
— Khobi Price (@khobi_price) February 9, 2023