The Los Angeles Lakers have traded guard Patrick Beverley to the Orlando Magic for big man Mo Bamba, according to ESPN and The Athletic.
The Lakers are sending second-round draft compensation with Beverley to the Magic for Bamba, who is only 24.
Beverley, 34, is averaging 6.4 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists this season while shooting 40.2% from the field, 34.8% from beyond the arc and 78.0% from the free-throw line. He becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer. The Magic, who won’t make the playoffs this season, will likely buy out Beverley, who is interested in going back to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Bamba, meanwhile, is putting up 7.3 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game while shooting 49.5% overall, 39.8% from 3-point land and 68.6% from the charity stripe. The Texas product signed a two-year, $20.6 million contract with the Magic last summer. Orlando drafted Bamba with the sixth overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.
This Is a Solid Trade for the Lakers
This is another good trade for the Lakers, who have been busy at the trade deadline. Los Angeles has acquired Bamba, D’Angelo Russell from the Timberwolves, Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt from the Utah Jazz and Davon Reed from the Denver Nuggets. The purple and gold also traded for Rui Hachimura from the Washington Wizards in January.
The Lakers acquired Beverley from the Jazz last summer, hoping the veteran defender would help them play with more energy and toughness on defense. However, Beverley struggled in his return to Los Angeles (he played for the Los Angeles Clippers for four seasons). The Chicago native has a plus-minus of -90 this season.
Bamba is a 7-footer who can protect the rim and also stretch the floor. He has 38 blocks and 43 3s this season. The Lakers needed more shooters around future Hall of Famers LeBron James and Anthony Davis, so GM Rob Pelinka got his superstars Russell, Beasley and Bamba.
Bamba has career averages of 7.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks. The Lakers traded Thomas Bryant to the Nuggets, so Bamba will be Davis’ new backup.
Can the Lakers Make the Playoffs Now?
The Lakers are a better team now. They got younger and more shooters around James and Davis.
Los Angeles is in 13th place in the Western Conference standings. However, James and Co. are only 4.5 games back of the sixth spot.
Core players on the Lakers wanted Pelinka to make multiple trades to improve the roster, league sources told Heavy Sports. James and Davis were upset when Kyrie Irving got sent to the Dallas Mavericks, but Pelinka and his team in the front office rebounded by parting ways with Beverley and Russell Westbrook, two players who were hurting the team on offense.
Lakers head coach Darvin Ham and Westbrook’s relationship soured as the season went along, sources told Heavy Sports, so Pelinka knew he had to trade Westbrook, who becomes an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
If Pelinka doesn’t make another trade, the Lakers’ roster will be made up of James, Davis, Russell, Beasley, Vanderbilt, Reed, Bamba, Hachimura, Troy Brown Jr., Max Christie, Wenyen Gabriel, Austin Reaves, Dennis Schroder and Lonnie Walker IV.