Just before the start of free agency, the Los Angeles Lakers made the decision to waive Mo Bamba prior to the 2023-24 season in order to save $10 million towards their salary cap, per a report from Jake Fischer of Yahoo! Sports. Bamba, a former sixth overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, is known for his impressive 7’0″ height and 7’10” wingspan, which have kept him on the radar of NBA teams.
He was acquired by the Lakers following a mid-season roster shakeup that resulted in significant changes to their rotation. However, Bamba struggled with injuries and failed to establish himself with the Lakers, becoming a non-factor in the latter half of the season.
The move to save $10 million on a player who did not contribute during the postseason is a logical decision, especially considering that other players such as Austin Reaves, D’Angelo Russell, and Rui Hachimura are due for larger salaries in the upcoming year. The Cleveland Cavaliers’ first-round series against the New York Knicks highlighted the Cavaliers’ need for additional depth in the frontcourt, making Bamba’s availability potentially beneficial for Cleveland.
Why is Mo Bamba constantly on the move?
Unless he agrees to return to the Lakers on a league minimum contract, Bamba is likely to find himself on his third team in just six seasons in the NBA, despite being a top-10 pick. Typically, players who change teams as frequently as Bamba do so due to limited playing time or even risk being out of the league entirely. That said, Bamba’s situation is somewhat different, and it’s worth noting that he is still just 25 years old.
Throughout the early stages of his career, Bamba has displayed glimpses of the potential that warranted his selection as the sixth overall pick. Unfortunately, he has been plagued by injuries, which have frequently kept him off the court, and his performance in the minutes he has played has been inconsistent.
While signing Bamba may not instantly transform the Cavaliers into title favorites, he possesses strengths in areas that the team is actively seeking to improve upon. Here are two reasons why the Cavaliers should consider signing Mo Bamba in free agency.