Los Angeles Lakers trade deadline acquisition Mo Bamba will miss at least four weeks after the team announced Thursday he had suffered a high ankle sprain.
Bamba, 24, was the sixth overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, but after four-and-a-half disappointing seasons with the Orlando Magic he was traded to the Lakers in exchange for Patrick Beverley.
In seven games for his new club, including one start, Bamba averaged 4.4 points and 5.3 rebounds in 11.6 minutes, highlighted by a 10-point, 13-rebound double-double in a win against the Golden State Warriors.
His absence will likely result in an expanded role for fellow new arrival Jarred Vanderbilt, who has impressed since coming over from the Utah Jazz in the Russell Westbrook trade.
Vanderbilt, 23, has put together a couple of game-winning efforts in a Lakers jersey already, but despite earning a spot in the starting line-up, he has only been playing an average of 24.2 minutes per game.
With Anthony Davis the only other elite defender on the roster – and already being pushed to the limit during LeBron James' absence – Vanderbilt is the prime candidate to pick up more minutes as a small-ball center, while Wenyen Gabriel will also figure back into the rotation.
Mo Bamba has been evaluated by Lakers team doctors and has been diagnosed with a high left ankle sprain. He will be re-evaluated in approximately four weeks.— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) March 9, 2023