Mohamed Bamba

Atlantic Notes: C. Johnson, Petrusev, Bamba, Keels

Cameron Johnson‘s new four-year contract with the Nets is front-loaded, with a cap hit of approximately $25.7MM in 2023/24. His cap charges in the subsequent three seasons will all be lower than that, including a drop to $21.6MM in ’25/26.

Discussing his new deal on Tuesday, Johnson explained that he hopes the structure of the contract will help the Nets be more financially flexible in future years than they would have been if he had agreed to traditional annual raises.

“Yes, that’s a big part of it,” Johnson said, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post. “I want to be surrounded by the best players possible. I want to be on the best team possible. So as to how the contract is weighted, it’s not like they’re taking or adding anything to it, it’s just a distribution of it. So I was trying to be as flexible as possible in allowing the best for the team situation.”

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • Will draft-and-stash prospect Filip Petrusev sign his first NBA contract with the Sixers this offseason? Head coach Nick Nurse seemed to suggest as much during an appearance on Tyrese Maxey‘s Maxey on the Mic podcast, referring to the 2021 second-rounder as a player “who’s going to be on the roster this year” (hat tip to Eurohoops). With James Harden‘s trade request still unresolved and Philadelphia bringing back Paul Reed and Montrezl Harrell to go along with new addition Mohamed Bamba, it would be a little surprising if the team is fully committed to bringing Petrusev – another center – stateside for 2023/24, but it sounds like it might happen.
  • Speaking of Bamba, he spoke to reporters on Monday about his decision to sign with the Sixers and the role he expects to play with his new NBA team. As Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer details, the former lottery pick will be looking to show that he can be relied upon as a regular rotation player. “The next step for me is just consistency,” Bamba said. “Barring any injuries, just being out there and, you know, doing what I do best, protecting the rim, touching the floor and being so much more of a lob threat.”
  • Restricted free agent guard Trevor Keels is looking to show the Knicks with his Summer League play that he deserves to be part of the team’s plans going forward, writes Zach Braziller of The New York Post. He’s off to a shaky start, scoring just 10 points on 4-of-13 shooting during his first two games in Las Vegas — New York has been outscored by 52 points during his 33 minutes on the floor, per Braziller.

Sixers Sign Mohamed Bamba To One-Year Deal

JULY 9: Bamba’s deal is official, the Sixers announced on Twitter.

JULY 5: Mohamed Bamba is signing a one-year deal with the Sixers, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). It will be for the veteran’s minimum, according to Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice (Twitter link).

The 76ers still plan on keeping restricted free agent Paul Reed, according to Wojnarowski, who notes that Bamba will be an insurance policy at backup center if Reed were to depart.

The sixth overall pick of the 2018 draft, Bamba spent his first four-plus seasons with the Magic, who sent him to the Lakers ahead of the trade deadline. He sprained his ankle shortly after being moved to L.A. and rarely played for the Lakers off the bench even before the injury. They wound up waiving his $10.3MM contract for 2023/24 before it became guaranteed.

In total, Bamba appeared in 49 games in 2022/23, averaging 6.6 points and 4.6 rebounds in 15.7 minutes per contest. He posted a shooting line of .485/.387/.661.

Although he has flashed the ability to stretch the floor and protect the rim, he hasn’t done either very consistently. Despite being 7’0″ with an enormous 7’10” wingspan, Bamba is very much a jump shooter offensively, rarely finishing in the paint or getting to the free throw line. He also makes a lot of mistakes in attempting to block shots he shouldn’t defensively, leaving the weak side open behind him.

Bamba saw his role with the Magic decline last season after the team added Wendell Carter and Paolo Banchero. He was outplayed by Moritz Wagner for the backup center job (Wagner re-signed with the Magic on a two-year, $16MM deal), and that’s partly why they moved Bamba.

Still just 25, Bamba could have some untapped upside. He’s blessed with enviable physical tools and he’s a low-risk signing at the league minimum.

Even if Reed does return, it’s possible Bamba could outplay him and become the team’s backup center behind Joel Embiid, though based on playing style, I would favor Reed’s aggression for the job, especially with Nick Nurse as head coach.

Pacific Notes: Goodwin, Reaves, D-Lo, Vincent, Lakers, K. Martin

Two new but established Suns leaders, star guard Bradley Beal and head coach Frank Vogel, are looking forward to seeing the impact that another former Wizard, Jordan Goodwin, will have on the team, writes Dana Scott of The Arizona Republic.

The 6’3″ combo guard was part of the package Phoenix acquired in its blockbuster trade for Beal. Goodwin, still just 24, carved out a significant role off the bench in Washington in 2022/23. In 62 contests last season, he averaged 6.6 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 2.7 APG and 0.9 SPG.

“I think Jordan is going to surprise a lot of people,” Beal said. “A lot may not know who he is, but he is nasty tenacious defender who loves the game, who will compete at both ends of the floor.”

“He’s a very compelling talent,” Vogel said. “As we fill out the rest of our roster, we want to make sure we’re one of the most physical, toughest teams in the NBA. And Jordan at the guard position represents that, so I’m excited to watch him work.”

There’s more out of the Pacific Division:

  • The Lakers are looking to maximize the skill set of returning guard Austin Reaves, according to Jovan Buha of The Athletic, who hears that the team will explore the 6’5″ swingman’s play-making abilities by running the offense through him more often next season. After being moved into a full-time starting role for the Lakers during the season, the 25-year-old averaged 18.3 PPG on .571/.486/.898 shooting splits, 6.1 APG, and 3.3 RPG.
  • Although D’Angelo Russell is the early favorite to be the Lakers‘ starting point guard next season, Buha hears from sources that new addition Gabe Vincent could win the role if he outperforms Russell during L.A.’s training camp.
  • The Lakers are looking to add a center to fill its 14th roster spot, Buha adds. Sources tell Buha that Mohamed Bamba and Tristan Thompson are both candidates for the gig, but that the club could also wait out the market and see if more intriguing possibilities emerge.
  • Newly acquired Clippers small forward Kenyon Martin Jr. could help infuse an older L.A. roster with a healthy dose of athleticism, Law Murray of The Athletic writes. Martin, a Southern California native, brings an explosive vertical burst to the table, though he won’t score much outside of the post. His main contributions will be in and around that terrain on offense, while defensively he has some tools but still needs to develop.

Pacific Notes: Lakers, Draymond, Preston, Duarte, Kings

The Lakers made some roster changes yesterday, agreeing to free agent deals with guard Gabe Vincent and forwards Taurean Prince and Cam Reddish. They’re also signing big man Jaxson Hayes to fortify their frontcourt depth.

Vincent will replace Dennis Schröder, who wound up signing with Toronto after the Raptors lost Fred VanVleet in free agency. That transaction came after the Vincent deal was reported.

Team sources tell Jovan Buha of The Athletic that the Lakers contemplated re-signing Schröder, but believe Vincent is a better player and will provide more value. According to Buha, head coach Darvin Ham was one of the people “strongly in favor” of bringing Schröder back.

Despite waiving Mohamed Bamba before his $10.3MM salary became guaranteed, the center is still interested in returning to Los Angeles, a source tells Buha. However, Buha’s article was released before the team agreed to sign Hayes, and the Lakers still have Wenyen Gabriel and Tristan Thompson as free agents.

Here’s more from the Pacific:

  • Draymond Green and the Warriors both had negotiating wins for his new four-year, $100MM contract, writes Anthony Slater of The Athletic. As Slater explains, the Warriors got significant tax savings for 2023/24 by Green taking a first-year pay cut compared to his declined player option, while Green got a fourth year tacked on to the end of the deal.
  • Clippers and guard Jason Preston mutually agreed to push back his salary guarantee date to July 18, a source tells Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times (Twitter link). The 33rd pick of the 2021 draft out of Ohio University, Preston missed his entire rookie season after undergoing right foot surgery. Preston only appeared in 14 regular season games for a total of 124 minutes this past season. The 23-year-old spent most of ’22/23 in the G League with the team’s G League affiliate. His salary will remain non-guaranteed for now.
  • The Kings and Pacers were reportedly nearing an agreement Friday morning on a trade that would send wing Chris Duarte to Sacramento in exchange for draft compensation. However, as of Friday night, the two teams had yet to agree to terms, a league source tells Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee.

Lakers To Decline Malik Beasley’s Team Option

In addition to waiving Mohamed Bamba before his salary became guaranteed, the Lakers also won’t exercise their team option on Malik Beasley for 2023/24, making him an unrestricted free agent, league sources tell Dave McMenamin of ESPN (Twitter link).

However, a reunion could still be in the works. As ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets, the Lakers will retain Beasley’s Bird rights, and McMenamin reports that the Lakers plan to keep in touch with both players, with new contracts a possibility. Los Angeles will lose Bamba’s Bird rights after waiving him.

As our team option tracker shows, Beasley’s option was worth $16,524,106. He didn’t play up to that type of contract in ’22/23, so it’s not a surprise that it will be declined, though there was some thought that it might be exercised in order to explore sign-and-trade scenarios.

A long-range shooting specialist who holds a career mark of 37.8% from deep, Beasley shot just 35.7% last season, including 35.3% with the Lakers. He was acquired from Utah at the trade deadline in the deal involving Russell Westbrook.

Overall, the 26-year-old appeared in 81 games last season, including 27 starts (25.8 MPG). The Lakers had hoped he would provide an offensive jolt, but his numbers declined with L.A. and he was a non-factor in the postseason, appearing in 11 games while shooting 26.9% from three in 8.3 MPG.

While Beasley is an extremely streaky shooter who doesn’t bring a whole lot else to the table, he did shoot 38.9% from beyond the arc in 252 games from 2018-2022. That, combined with his age, should make him a popular target in free agency.

Lakers Waiving Mohamed Bamba

The Lakers have decided to waive Mohamed Bamba before his $10.3MM salary for the 2023/24 season becomes guaranteed, reports Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link).

The sixth overall pick in the 2018 draft, Bamba spent his first four-and-a-half NBA seasons in Orlando before being dealt to the Lakers ahead of the 2023 trade deadline.

Although he has flashed the ability to stretch the floor and protect the rim, Bamba saw his role with the Magic decline after the team added Wendell Carter and Paolo Banchero, and played a limited role in Los Angeles before spraining his ankle in March.

In total, Bamba appeared in 49 games in 2022/23, averaging 6.6 points and 4.6 rebounds in 15.7 minutes per contest. He posted a shooting line of .485/.387/.661.

Bamba is still just 25 years old and may have untapped upside, but it didn’t make sense for the Lakers to retain him at a price of $10MM+. Cutting him will give Los Angeles some extra cap flexibility entering a crucial offseason and may open the door for the club to use the full, non-taxpayer version of the mid-level exception.

Free Agent Rumors: Brown, Lakers, Bridges, Cavs, Heat, Love

The Lakers are “increasingly confident” about their chances of signing Bruce Brown using the non-taxpayer mid-level exception, multiple sources tell Jovan Buha of The Athletic.

The Denver Post first reported on Wednesday that the Lakers have “significant” interest in Brown. A subsequent report suggested that the Nuggets‘ free agent guard may receive offers worth more than the mid-level, which would be virtually impossible for L.A. to match. However, Buha’s latest report suggests the Lakers still feel good about their odds of landing the versatile guard.

As Buha details, there’s a path for the Lakers to re-sign D’Angelo Russell, Austin Reaves, and Rui Hachimura while also using the full mid-level exception, which would hard-cap their team salary at approximately $172MM. That path would require the club to decline Malik Beasley‘s $16.5MM team option and waive Mohamed Bamba, whose $10.3MM salary is non-guaranteed.

Here are a few more free agent rumblings from around the NBA:

  • The Cavaliers have interest in Hornets restricted free agent Miles Bridges, sources tell Chris Fedor of However, with only the mid-level exception to offer, Cleveland is a long shot to land Bridges, given that Charlotte would match a mid-level offer sheet “in an instant,” Fedor writes. Sources tell that Bridges’ camp is expecting a significantly higher per-year salary.
  • Elsewhere within his look at the Cavaliers‘ options in free agency, Fedor says Max Strus would be near the top of the team’s wish list if he’s attainable with the mid-level exception, which he may not be. Fedor adds that Cleveland is in the market for more forward depth in addition to a two-way wing, naming Georges Niang as a possible target.
  • The Heat and Kevin Love have mutual interest in working out a new deal, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Miami only holds Love’s Non-Bird rights, so he’d likely have to accept a minimum-salary contract or something slightly above that if he wants to return.
  • In an entertaining piece for, Howard Beck speaks to a number of anonymous team executives about their expectations for the NBA’s 2023 offseason.

Trade Rumors: Lakers, Kuminga, Nets, LaVine, Raptors

There has been growing buzz in recent days that the Lakers are increasingly more likely to trade their first-round pick (No. 17) than to keep it, according to Jovan Buha of The Athletic. In his latest story, Buha explores all the possibilities in play for Los Angeles, including hanging onto the pick, trading out of the draft, or trading down.

As Buha writes, the idea of the Lakers packaging the No. 17 pick with Malik Beasley ($16.5MM team option) and/or Mohamed Bamba ($10.3MM) to acquire a starter-caliber player appears more viable than ever. League sources say that Pacers center Myles Turner and sharpshooter Buddy Hield, Nets wings Dorian Finney-Smith and Royce O’Neale, and Raptors guard Gary Trent Jr. are among the players who have been linked to the Lakers.

While it sounds less likely than trading down or out of the draft, Buha says the Lakers have at least considered the possibility of trying to move up from No. 17. Dereck Lively and Kobe Bufkin are among the prospects the club likes, a source tells The Athletic.

Here are more trade rumors from around the NBA:

  • Addressing a report from last week that suggested the Warriors have explored moving up in the draft using Jonathan Kuminga, Anthony Slater of The Athletic provides some additional context, writing that rumor stemmed from an inbound call from a lottery team that has long been interested in Kuminga. Multiple sources tell Slater that Golden State isn’t shopping the young forward.
  • While the lottery team that called the Warriors about Kuminga is unknown, it’s worth noting that Slater uses the Pacers as an example in his discussion of that scenario. Additionally, when ESPN updated its mock draft on Wednesday (subscription required), Jonathan Givony added Kuminga to the list of forwards the Pacers may explore acquiring via trade.
  • In the latest episode of The Lowe Post podcast (YouTube link), ESPN’s Zach Lowe said the Nets‘ asking prices for forwards Dorian Finney-Smith and Royce O’Neale have been high. Brooklyn is seeking “real first-round pick equity” for those players, not just looking to move up a few spots in the draft, according to Lowe.
  • Despite reports that they’re gauging his trade market, the Bulls continue to value Zach LaVine very highly, according to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago, who hears from one league source that the team would seek a good young player, multiple first-round picks, and salary filler if LaVine is moved. Another league source thinks a single first-rounder might be sufficient if the Bulls could get an “established, high-end” player back.
  • Toronto has been involved in a series of trade rumors so far this offseason, but a pair of sources who spoke to Michael Grange of indicated that they wouldn’t be surprised if the Raptors don’t do anything drastic. “What I’m hearing now is they’re not going to trade from their core,” one source told Grange.

Lakers Notes: D-Lo, Kyrie, Walker, Reaves, Harrison, Beasley, Bamba, Draft

In a conversation on the HoopsHype podcast about the Lakers‘ free agency situation, Jovan Buha of The Athletic tells Michael Scotto of HoopsHype that he still believes a new deal with Los Angeles is the most likely outcome for D’Angelo Russell, though if it’s far from a lock.

A previous report stated that Russell was hoping for a four-year, $100MM contract before being traded from Minnesota to L.A. Given that he had an up-and-down postseason and there aren’t a ton of obvious suitors for his services this offseason, Russell may be hard-pressed to get four years or $25MM annually, Buha observes, suggesting that a two- or three-year deal, perhaps around $20MM per year, might be more realistic.

While the Lakers may also explore the sign-and-trade market for Russell, neither Buha nor Scotto views Kyrie Irving as a serious option for the club, even though Scotto has heard there’s no truth to the idea that Irving and the Mavericks have a “handshake” deal in place. Buha suggests it’s hard to imagine the Lakers making a compelling offer for Irving that Dallas would accept.

Elsewhere on the free agency front, Buha and Scotto agree that Lonnie Walker could get offers in the $4-7MM range and might seek a larger role with a new team.

As for Austin Reaves, Buha continues to hear that the Lakers will match any offer sheet for the guard, but he names the Spurs as a possible “dark horse” suitor for Reaves, while Scotto identifies the Rockets and Magic as two other cap-room teams who could have interest in testing the Lakers’ limits.

Here’s more on the Lakers:

  • In a mailbag for The Athletic, Buha says that Shaquille Harrison is expected to be waived this offseason and adds there are doubts about whether Malik Beasley ($16.5MM team option) and Mohamed Bamba ($10.3MM) will be retained. Beasley and Bamba would be on expiring deals and might be useful salary-matching pieces in trades, but they’re not bargains on their current contracts and could be cut loose to help accommodate new deals for free agents like Reaves, Russell, and Rui Hachimura.
  • The Lakers are more likely than not to hang onto the No. 17 pick in this year’s draft, sources tell Buha within that same mailbag. That might change if the team is able to use the pick as part of a trade package to land a starting-caliber player, Buha notes.
  • None are likely to receive consideration as early as No. 17, but the Lakers hosted six prospects for a pre-draft workout on Friday, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN (Twitter link): Nadir Hifi (France), Jalen Wilson (Kansas), Morris Udeze (New Mexico), Cameron Shelton (Loyola Marymount), Terquavion Smith (NC State), and Oscar Tshiebwe (Kentucky).

Lakers Rumors: Russell, Point Guard, LeBron, Hachimura

Before he was traded from Minnesota to the Lakers in February, D’Angelo Russell was believed to be seeking $100MM over four years on his next contract, according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports. Russell, who will be a free agent this summer, had an up-and-down postseason and only played 15 minutes off the bench in the final game of L.A.’s season, so Fischer is skeptical there will be bidders at that price point.

Still, Fischer hears from sources that Russell was viewed as a “positive presence” in the Lakers’ locker room and speculates that the two sides may be able to get a shorter-term (and less lucrative) deal done. Los Angeles could even keep D-Lo off the free agent market altogether by signing him to an extension on or before June 30.

Because he was traded within the last six months, Russell would be ineligible to sign an extension longer than two years, and Dave McMenamin of ESPN hears that the Lakers won’t pursue a two-year deal worth the veteran guard’s maximum number (approximately $67.5MM). However, Fischer suggests that something closer to $40MM over two years might make sense for both sides.

Given Russell’s playoff struggles, it’s certainly possible the Lakers will explore alternatives at point guard this summer, but their flexibility will be limited if they intend to bring back free agents like Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura, as has been reported. Within his story, McMenamin explores the different paths L.A. could take at the point guard spot, noting that the team might be able to package Malik Beasley ($16.5MM) and Mohamed Bamba ($10.3MM) in a trade to bring someone in without requiring cap room.

Here’s more on the Lakers:

  • There’s “widespread skepticism” that LeBron James will retire this offseason, according to Fischer, who says LeBron’s post-game comments on Monday surprised many team staffers. McMenamin, like, some other reporters earlier in the week, cites a source close to James who believes LeBron will return in 2023/24. Nonetheless, if only as a thought exercise, Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report explores what the Lakers’ next steps might look like if the future Hall-of-Famer does decide to call it a career this offseason.
  • While retirement may not be in the cards for James this summer, foot surgery could be. After McMenamin reported this week that LeBron isn’t ruling out the possibility of undergoing a procedure to address a torn tendon in his right foot, Shams Charania of The Athletic says that surgery would likely sideline the 38-year-old for about two months, with an expectation that he’d be ready for training camp. James is undergoing further evaluations to determine whether it’s necessary.
  • During extension negotiations with Rui Hachimura last fall, the Wizards initially offered a contract in the neighborhood of $12MM per year and eventually bumped that offer to $13-14MM, according to Fischer. Hachimura’s camp was seeking something in the four-year, $60MM range, so a deal didn’t get done. The Lakers forward appears to be in good position to match or exceed that number after a strong finish to the regular season and a productive postseason — Fischer views $15MM per year as a possible floor for Hachimura.
  • The Pacers and Suns could be rival suitors to watch for Hachimura, per Fischer, who notes that both clubs pursued him on the trade market during the winter. The Pacers, who will have cap room this offseason, are better positioned to consider an offer sheet for Hachimura than the capped-out Suns would be.