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RUMOR: LeBron James, Lakers facing stiff competition for Mo Bamba in free agency

Mo Bamba, LeBron James, Lakers, Jimmy Butler, Anthony Edwards, Pascal Siakam, Julius Randle

Mo Bamba is about to become one of the sought-after big men in free agency after reports emerged that the Orlando Magic are not expected to tender a qualifying offer to the 24-year-old center. Bamba is now expected to become an unrestricted free agent, with the Los Angeles Lakers reportedly keeping a keen eye on the situation. They aren’t alone, though.

According to Khobi Price of the Orlando Sentinel, LeBron James and the Lakers are just one out of seven teams that are expected to be in the mix once free agency officially opens on Thursday:

The Toronto Raptors, New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, Miami Heat and Minnesota Timberwolves are expected to be interested in Bamba, a source told the Sentinel.

Needless to say, Bamba is going to be a very wanted man. This comes as no surprise considering how the 7-foot center averaged across-the-board career-high numbers in 2021-22: 10.6 points on 48.0 percent shooting, 8.1 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.7 blocks, and 1.5 triples per game on a 38.1-percent clip.

It’s going to be extremely busy in the NBA come Thursday and it is clear that more than a few teams will be vying for Bamba’s signature. For their part, the Lakers are just hoping that they’re the ones who are able to land the highly-coveted big man.