Bamba was traded by the Orlando Magic to the Lakers before the deadline and was along for the ride as L.A. reached the Western Conference Finals.
“Absolutely,” Bamba told Sixers Wire, indicating that he’s excited to enter a season with a team that has high expectations. “I got a small taste of winning in the playoffs was like in L.A., but coming here and like having a training camp with it. When we were in L.A., all we would talk about is, ‘Yo, if we had a training camp together? This thing would have been awesome.’ But having a training camp with arguably a better team is exciting and fun to kind of indulge in.”
The Lakers made a ton of moves at the deadline last season, and it really helped push the team to the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference.
Los Angeles added D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt in a three-team deal that sent Russell Westbrook to the Utah Jazz, completely changing the scope of the team’s rotation.
The team also brought in forward Rui Hachimura in a deal with the Washington Wizards prior to the deadline.
Moves like those – and the addition of Bamba – made the Lakers a deeper team that was better suited to succeed in the playoffs.
After a slow start to the season (Los Angeles was 29-33 entering March), the team went 14-6 over its final 20 games to finish the regular season with a 43-39 record.
Without the additions that the Lakers made at the trade deadline, it’s quite possible that they never would have been able to turn things around over the final months of the regular season.
Bamba only appeared in nine games for the Lakers in the 2022-23 regular season. The big man averaged 3.7 points and 4.6 rebounds per game for Los Angeles.
The Lakers let him go this offseason, and he now will get a chance to play for another contender with the Sixers.
Hopefully for the Lakers, the team will be able to sustain success throughout the 2023-24 campaign. The team made some key additions this offseason by bringing in Cam Reddish, Gabe Vincent, Jaxson Hayes, Taurean Prince and Christian Wood.
Those players should help an already solid core return to the playoffs in the 2023-24 season.