There was a lot of excitement surrounding Mo Bamba when he entered the NBA Draft in 2018. He was oozing with two-way potential coming out of Texas for his ability to impact the game on both ends of the court.
The Harlem, New York native was dominant defensively, averaging 3.7 blocks per game. He was able to control the paint pulling down 10.5 rebounds per game; 7.3 of the defensive variety and 2.3 on the offensive glass.
The Orlando Magic liked what they saw enough to select him with the 6th pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. There was only one problem. The best player on the Magic, Nikola Vucevic, was also a center.
That, along with the inability to remain healthy, kept Bomba from truly having a chance to break out. He has averaged 15.3 minutes per game in his NBA career, starting only six games; five of which came this past season.
When the Magic surprised everyone by trading Vucevic to the Chicago Bulls, many thought this would finally be Bamba’s chance to show what he could do with extended minutes. That excitement was quickly extinguished as another young center, Wendell Carter Jr. was acquired from the Bulls in the deal.
He saw an uptick in minutes following the trade, but he has yet to fully be unleashed. With restricted free agency possibly on the horizon next season, if the Magic and Bamba cannot agree to an extension before the 2021-22 season, Orlando may decide to trade him to receive something in return.
There should be a bunch of teams lining up to acquire him should he be put on the block. Here are three teams who should buy-low on Bamba in a trade.
The Brooklyn Nets have their core in place with the Big 3 of Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving. The organization is hoping to lock them into long-term extensions before the 2021-22 season begins. Durant has already agreed to his, as the team will negotiate with Harden and Irving in the coming weeks.
While the Nets are certainly contenders with those three, the rest of the roster could use some work. The center position is one spot that needs some more help, especially if DeAndre Jordan is not going to be reinserted into the rotation. Jordan saw his role disappear down the stretch of the season as he didn’t play a single minute in the playoffs.
Blake Griffin is projected to start this season at center for the team by some outlets, but he is better off coming off the bench in a combo frontcourt role. Acquiring someone like Mo Bamba to fill the void in the middle would be a prudent move.
While Bamba’s offensive game is still developing, his defense would help a Nets team that struggled to stop anyone last season.
Bamba is also an elite rebounder, another area the Nets could use an improvement in. Had he qualified, Bamba would have been in the top-17 of offensive rebounding percentage, defensive rebounding percentage and total rebounding percentage.
Brooklyn was 21st in defensive rebounding percentage last season and having a player like Bamba would help them finish off defensive possessions.