The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly are set to let go of big man Mo Bamba and guard Malik Beasley.
— Ahn Fire Digital (@AhnFireDigital) June 29, 2023
While the Lakers are parting ways with Bamba and Beasley, it sounds like they both could come back on different deals.
The Lakers will waive Mo Bamba and not pick up the team option on Malik Beasley today, sources told ESPN. LAL plans to stay in contact with both players’ representatives throughout free agency and could find different deal structures for Bamba and/or Beasley’s return to LA
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) June 29, 2023
Bamba, 25, had a $10.3 million non-guaranteed contract for the 2023-24 season. By waiving him, the Lakers are making Bamba an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
The No. 6 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, Bamba came to the Lakers in a trade with the Orlando Magic at the deadline in the 2022-23 season.
Bamba spent his first four full seasons in the NBA with Orlando before being traded halfway through his fifth season.
He only appeared in nine games for the Lakers in the 2022-23 regular season due to an injury. The big man averaged 3.7 points and 4.6 rebounds per game for Los Angeles.
With Bamba on his way out for now, the Lakers might need to look elsewhere to find a big man to play behind star Anthony Davis in the 2023-24 season. Wenyen Gabriel played that role during the playoffs in the 2022-23 season with Bamba out.
Beasley was acquired in a three-team deal with the Utah Jazz, Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves at the deadline in the 2022-23 season. He ended up falling out of the rotation for the Lakers in the playoffs.
A first-round pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, Beasley appeared in 26 regular season games for the Lakers this season. He averaged 11.1 points and 3.3 rebounds per game while shooting 35.3 percent from beyond the arc.
With both players off the Lakers roster for now, it should make things easier on the team when it comes to matching contracts for Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura in free agency.
Beasley’s fate regarding his team option was all but sealed when he fell out of the rotation and Lonnie Walker IV thrived during the playoffs.
The Lakers are trying to maximize their championship window around LeBron James and Davis, so it makes sense that the team isn’t willing to pay hefty salaries for fringe rotation players like Beasley and Bamba.