Darvin Ham addresses whether Lakers will sign big man in wake of Mo Bamba’s injury

Zach Stevens
3 Min Read

The Los Angeles Lakers have been hit hard by the injury bug the last three seasons, and it struck again on Sunday when they lost backup center Mo Bamba to an ankle injury, which is expected to keep him out for over four weeks.

Many feel they need to sign a free agent center in order to beef up their frontcourt. They do have an open roster spot, but head coach Darvin Ham stopped short of saying it will be used on another true center.

“We’ll see,” said Ham on if the Lakers will sign a big man in the wake of Bamba’s injury. “We’re constantly exploring different ways we can improve our ball club, make no mistake about it. But as of right now, I think we’re versatile enough. We got different guys that we could put in different places. We can play small. We can play big even with this current roster as it stands. So we’re taking it day by day and if something makes sense, then maybe we’ll explore it. But if not, until then, we’ll keep our options open.”

Bamba’s absence will be significant, as he is a good shot-blocker, capable rebounder and legitimate 3-point shooting threat. By hitting 3-pointers, he can bring the other team’s center out onto the perimeter, which opens up the lane for other Lakers players.

When Anthony Davis isn’t in the game, L.A. will have to go with Wenyen Gabriel or Jarred Vanderbilt at the 5. Both players bring lots of effort and energy, but they’re both undersized for the center position in the NBA.

Going small has its advantages at times, especially for a fast-break team such as the Lakers, but it isn’t a strategy a team wants to employ too often.

There are a couple of interesting centers that are waiting to be signed by an NBA team, including DeMarcus Cousins and Hassan Whiteside. Both are intriguing options, and in particular, Cousins is someone Lakers fans have been clamoring for.

However, both centers have had attitude issues over the years, which is likely why neither of them has played at all this season.

The buyout market has largely dried up, as Moses Brown and Nerlens Noel, two other options at the 5, have been signed by the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets, respectively.

Even with all of its injuries, Los Angeles has won seven of its last 10 games despite not having LeBron James or D’Angelo Russell for the majority of them.

Russell is expected to make his return on Friday when the team hosts the Toronto Raptors.

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Zach has always had a profound love and respect for the Lakers that has inspired him to write about the franchise. He has a great deal of admiration for LeBron James, and his overall knowledge about the NBA has made him a solid addition to the Lakers Daily staff.