The Lakers have waived center Mo Bamba and guard Shaquille Harrison, the team announced Thursday. They are likely to decline the team option on Malik Beasley’s contract, creating a way for the team to potentially use the full mid-level exception once free agency opens Friday, people with knowledge of the situation not authorized to speak publicly told The Times.
The moves, which have not been made official, open enough space below the NBA’s tax apron for the Lakers to make a competitive offer to free agents such as Denver’s Bruce Brown or Golden State’s Donte DiVincenzo — both of whom would be in line for less should they re-sign with their teams.
The $10.3 million owed Bamba and the $2.4 million owed Harrison for next season would have become guaranteed after Thursday. The team also had a Thursday deadline to decide on Beasley’s team option of $16.5 million for next season.
Beasley and Bamba were a part of the Lakers’ trade deadline shakeups, with the Lakers acquiring Beasley as part of the Russell Westbrook trade and Bamba in a deal with Orlando for Patrick Beverley.
Beasley played in 26 games, starting 14, after the trade and averaged 11.1 points on 35.3% three-point shooting. An ankle injury slowed Bamba, who appeared in nine games for the Lakers.
Free agency officially begins Friday at 3 p.m. PDT.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.