In what is clearly a big man-heavy top of the draft, Texas center Mo Bamba has been selected at #6 by the Liberty Ballers community. In his lone season with the Longhorns, Bamba averaged 12.9 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 3.6 blocks, a swats mark that was second in the nation. The 20-year-old 7-footer checked in at the NBA Draft combine with a Mr. Fantastic-like 7’10” wingspan and 9’7.5” standing reach, both measurements tops in this draft class by multiple inches.
As you might expect with those physical attributes, scouts have been drooling over Bamba’s defensive potential. He is a mobile defender who can slide his feet well and turn away shots at the rim with either hand (or sometimes both!). Bamba definitely needs to put on weight to avoid being pushed around by stronger opposition, but that should come in time under the supervision of an NBA strength and conditioning staff.
Offensively, Bamba’s game is still extremely raw. At Texas, he was mostly confined to catching lobs around the rim, which he does a nice job of doing with either hand. The three-point shot is mostly potential at this point; Bamba shot 27.5% on just 51 three-point attempts. Bamba has been working with trainer Drew Hanlen (of Joel Embiid workout video fame) to try and emulate his game after The Process. Under Hanlen’s instruction, Bamba is refining his jumper to comprise a more fluid motion. He also needs to develop some go-to moves in the post, another area where developing strength to be able to maintain his spot on the court will be key.
The pie-in-the-sky ceiling for Bamba is a player who can both hit threes and catch lobs, while impacting the other end at a Defensive Player of the Year-like level. You know, basically Unicorn-esque behavior reserved for the likes of Anthony Davis and Embiid. The floor for Bamba is one of the better rim protectors in the league, who might be played off the court at times as the league moves toward a five-out system where everyone needs to be able to space the floor and defend the perimeter. However, whoever selects him in the upper half of the lottery will be banking on all the raw potential coming together perfectly to form a two-way matchup nightmare.
Two Kentucky Wildcats, Kevin Knox and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, have been added to the list. Who should be #7?
Which player should be selected at #7?
This poll is closed
Wendell Carter Jr.
Liberty Ballers Big Board:
- Luka Dončić - PG/SG - Real Madrid
- DeAndre Ayton - C - Arizona
- Jaren Jackson Jr. - PF/C - Michigan State
- Marvin Bagley III - PF, Duke
- Michael Porter Jr. - F, Missouri
- Mo Bamba - C, Texas
- To be determined