Portland Trail Blazers free agency center target: Mo Bamba
After a sizzling hot start to the season, Mo Bamba has cooled off a little bit. Still, he proved the traits that made him such a tantalizing prospect in the 2018 NBA Draft.
Like the two previous options, Bamba can defend the rim, send shots back into the stands, and drill 3-pointers going the other way. Unlike NBA veterans Dedmon and Ibaka, he still has plenty of springs in his 23-year-old legs.
Not only would Bamba be able to space the floor out to the 3-point line, he can also threaten to tear down the rim on each of his pick-and-rolls. That versatility makes him a serious problem as the screener and will make life incredibly difficult on any defenders that have to guard a screen that he sets for Damian Lillard or Anfernee Simons.
Essentially, he combines the floor spacing of a 30-year-old Serge Ibaka with the bounciness of a 22-year-old Serge Ibaka. Oh, and he’s also a true seven-footer with a 7’10 wingspan.
Those measurements in tandem with his touch on jumpers are why Bamba still had plenty of supporters in his corner despite a very lackluster first three seasons to his career.
But this season, he’s clearly starting to put it all together. Through 60 games, he’s averaging 10.3 points, eight rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game, while slashing 48/36/82.
His finishing leaves a lot to be desired, but he should get a lot more wide-open looks playing alongside Dame and Ant; looks that he’ll finish off like this:
Bamba will by far be the priciest target on this list, but his youth and unique blend of skills make him worth the risk and the money. If Portland has a chance to pry him away in restricted free agency, they should exhaust all options to do so.