Trade seekers stand up for Magic’s Mo Bamba

NBA Analytics Network

One of the more intriguing free agents of the Class of 2022 was Orlando Magic center Mo Bamba. The No. 6 overall in the 2018 NBA Draft got his first shot at extended playing time during the 2021-22 season and made the most of it by putting together a career season.

Bamba demonstrated the kind of unicorn skills teams demand from their centers as he was a shot blocker capable of shooting 3-pointers. He blocked 1.7 shots per game and made 38.1 percent of his three-point attempts, both in his career. The 10.6 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.2 assists were also a career best.

Orlando did not make a qualifying offer to him, which resulted in him becoming an unrestricted free agent this past offseason. Analysts thought he might qualify for a sizeable bid, but it didn’t materialize. Instead, he signed a two-year deal with the Magic worth $20.6 million.

It was an odd sign-up when the Magic added Paolo Banchero to the frontcourt as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. They also had a long-term commitment to Wendell Carter Jr. with a four-year, $50 million deal in 2021.

According to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report, Bamba is an important trading target for Orlando. The contract he signed was largely to use him as a bargaining chip as his second season is not guaranteed.

“The Orlando Magic have re-signed Bamba to trade him; at least, it seems. His role has diminished this season with the arrival of No. 1 pick Paolo Banchero and the emergence of Bol Bol.

Bamba (which can’t be shared until mid-January) has a two-year, $20.6 million contract, but the second season isn’t guaranteed. Orlando would like to have a scoop, but may be looking for younger players who can grow with the young team in the longer term.”

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Mo Bamba & Orlando Magic Updates

Four teams have been named as potential suitors; the LA Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Sacramento Kings and Toronto Raptors. All four teams could certainly use some help in the frontcourt and Bamba would be a solid addition given his skills.

Ivica Zubac is the only center the Clippers currently have on their roster, as they have not replaced Isaiah Hartenstein, who signed with the New York Knicks on a free-duty basis. The Lakers have mixed and matched in the frontcourt as Anthony Davis is having an MVP season, but the center spot is otherwise a weakness.

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Mo Bamba & Orlando Magic Updates

Sacramento has a skilled backup center in Richaun Holmes, but he hasn’t been in the rotation behind Domantas Sabonis, so their interest is odd. The Raptors desperately need a big man as they are currently starting Pascal Siakam on the center spot and the only traditional big man they have is Khem Birch.

#Trade #seekers #stand #Magics #Bamba

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