Lakers insider speculates Mo Bamba and Malik Beasley won’t be back with Lakers

Brad Sullivan
4 Min Read

An insider for the Los Angeles Lakers indicates that contract issues will likely result in both center Mo Bamba and shooting guard Malik Beasley playing elsewhere next season.

Jovan Buha of The Athletic responded to questions concerning what the Lakers may do during the offseason.

“The two players it’s appearing won’t be back are Mo Bamba and Malik Beasley, if only because of their contracts,” Buha wrote. “With the aforementioned six names expected to return, the Lakers would be at around $120 million to $125 million — depending on the salary of [Rui] Hachimura — in salary before factoring in cap holds or empty roster charges. Add Bamba’s $10.3 million non-guaranteed salary and Beasley’s $16.5 million team option, and they’re pushing $150-plus million with just eight players — and that’s before including free agents like [D’Angelo] Russell, [Dennis] Schröder or [Lonnie] Walker.”

The six players referenced by Buha consist of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Hachimura, Austin Reaves, Jarred Vanderbilt and Max Christie. The huge contracts of James and Davis, coupled with efforts to re-sign restricted free agents Hachimura and Reaves to more lucrative deals help to explain the tenuous statuses of Bamba and Beasley.

Bamba was acquired by the Lakers in February as part of a four-team deal with the Orlando Magic. He ended up seeing action in only seven regular season games for the Lakers before suffering a high left ankle sprain.

Returning to the court, Bamba saw action in only three postseason contests, all against the Memphis Grizzlies. In those games, he only played a total of 10 minutes and contributed just three rebounds, one assist and one block.

Beasley also arrived in February, coming along with Vanderbilt in a trade with the Utah Jazz. Starting in 14 of his 26 regular season games for the Lakers, Beasley averaged 11.1 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game.

In the playoff series against the Grizzlies, Beasley’s playing time was basically cut in half. That approach would continue in the two subsequent playoff series, with Beasley seeing just one minute of court time against the Denver Nuggets.

The potential departures of Bamba and Beasley may not end up eliciting a great deal of concern. However, one situation that will get attention is whether the Lakers can come to terms with guard D’Angelo Russell.

After he was acquired in February, Russell delivered solid play down the stretch for a Lakers team that was simply trying to reach the postseason. Yet, when the playoffs arrived, Russell’s play was inconsistent and how amenable he is to working out a deal with the Lakers is something to watch.

The continuing debate about whether the Lakers will acquire veteran guard Kyrie Irving has yet to die down. Despite the belief that the Lakers won’t add him to the team roster during the offseason, there’s no definitive statement saying that they won’t.

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Brad is a freelance writer for, who can clearly recall watching Lakers games in 1972 as they captured the first of their 11 Los Angeles-based titles. The franchise's evolution into a beloved and iconic franchise among its fan base since that memorable year allows for a wider perspective to be a part of his writing about the team's current fortunes.