Lakers Continue Roster Flip, Trade Patrick Beverley To Magic
In their second trade this week, the Los Angeles Lakers traded guard Patrick Beverley and a second-round pick to the Orlando Magic in exchange for center Mo Bamba. The trade is part of a larger effort by the Lakers to revamp their roster after a 25-30 start to the season.
Shortly following the trade for Bamba, the Lakers also acquired guard Davon Reed and three second-round picks in exchange for center Thomas Bryant.
It’s been a busy week for Los Angeles, which celebrated LeBron James’ all-time scoring record Tuesday after a 133-130 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. The following day, the team finalized negotiations on a three-way trade in which it received D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt in exchange for Russell Westbrook, Juan Toscano-Anderson, Damian Jones and a 2027 first-round pick.
Has the Lakers' trade made them title contenders? 🤔
Grades for each team are up on @ESPNPlus 🔗 https://t.co/Ouh3ErqKv9 pic.twitter.com/QwdU3L6DT1
— ESPN (@espn) February 9, 2023
Beverley’s departure is yet another sign that the Lakers are completely tearing down their current structure, a decision that began when Westbrook was traded to the Utah Jazz. Los Angeles has been unable to properly build around stars James and Anthony Davis, who somehow missed the playoffs last year and could very well do so again this year. The team is 13th in the Western Conference.
For an organization that has seemingly given up on its current standing, this recent slate of trades is clearly an attempt to build something for future seasons. With James’ indeterminate retirement date and Davis’ injury concerns, there is a sense of urgency surrounding the Lakers franchise, which was supposed to be a consistent contender for years after signing James in 2018.
Westbrook and Beverley were both brought on as high-profile supporting characters but simply failed to deliver for most of their tenures as Lakers. Westbrook eventually began to put up his typical numbers but still continued to make costly errors while Beverley offered even less on offense than many expected.
The team’s new acquisitions, particularly Russell, could fill those supporting roles better, as they are generally younger, more promising contributors instead of more established players on the back end of their careers. Things may not improve overnight, but it gives the team a new look after nearly two stagnant seasons featuring one of the greatest players in the history of basketball.
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