General manager Pelinka made multiple trades ahead of the trade deadline to gradually find his rhythm in the second half of the season. After the arrival of Hachimura, Russell and Vanderbilt, the Lakers made the playoffs as the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference playoffs.
The Lakers defeated the second-seeded Memphis Grizzlies in the first round before beating defending champion Golden State Warriors in six games to reach the Western Conference Finals. Unfortunately, the Lakers were swept by the top-seeded Nuggets in the Western Conference finals, so management needs to re-strengthen the lineup around LeBron James and Anthony Davis before the start of the 2023-24 season.
Russell, Walker and Schroder are unrestricted free agents, while Reeves and Hachimura are restricted free agents. Even with the uncertainty surrounding the Lakers' roster next season, having a player on the Lakers is destined to be part of any offseason deal they plan to complete.
Having acquired Bamba before last season's trade deadline, it was expected that he could replace Thomas Bryant as Davis' backup big man. Bamba missed most of the regular season due to injury and had to sit on the bench in the playoffs.
Bamba's best game with the Lakers was scoring 12 points in the first week of March, so there wasn't enough performance to keep him up with the Lakers in 2023-24. The role Bamba brings to the Lakers can be compared to Thompson or Gabriel.
Since the Lakers will be embroiled in a lot of trade rumors in the offseason, such as getting Trae Young or Irving, they could use Bamba's $10.3 million contract next season to use it as a salary fill in a larger deal.
Despite being 25 years old, relatively young, and a top-five pick in the draft, the Lakers have no incentive to sign him to a new contract, or even keep him on the team without a trade, so instead of losing him for nothing this summer, it's wiser to trade his contract.
The Lakers must focus on adding a couple of ball carriers and shooters to complement the trio of James, Davis and Reeves. Los A.S.'s weaknesses were laid bare in the Denver series, and addressing them through any necessary team-building means must be the team's top priority this summer. The Lakers were indeed the only opponents swept by the Nuggets in the playoffs, but they still performed better than the Phoenix Suns and Minnesota Timberwolves against Nikola Jokic.
Like James Wiseman, Bamba needs more development time to play more consistently on the pitch, which is impossible for a team hungry for a championship. He's better off playing for a young, promising team, and the Lakers could close a compelling deal by including Bamba's contract.
Wait, let's pay attention and go, I wish everyone a rich and enemy country as soon as possible, thank you [Zuo]