Magic Select a Defensive Gem in Mo Bamba
Luck was on the Magic’s side Thursday night when they were able to draft Mohamed Bamba with the 6th overall pick in the NBA Draft. Many draft projections had the 7-footer from Texas being off the board before Orlando made their selection so this pick was a no brainer for Jeff Weltman and John Hammond to make. While there are always some doubts about a player in the draft, there are no questions about Bamba’s defense! At the very least the Magic have found themselves a player who can anchor their defense for years to come. Bamba has the potential to contend for the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year Award with his elite shot blocking ability. He has a 7’10” wingspan, which helped him average nearly 4 blocks a game during his lone season at Texas. He also averaged double-digit rebounds in college, and will certainly be able to give Orlando a boost on the boards.
Really, the only question marks surrounding Bamba is his offensive game. For the Longhorns he averaged just under 13 points and he’ll need to put in the work if he is going to turn into a double-double machine like current Magic center Nik Vucevic. He will also need to bulk up a bit as he weighs in around 220lbs, allowing him to get pushed around in the paint. Bamba has also been known to rely on his size too often on the boards and he will need to put in the effort as well at the next level.
For this season Orlando will benefit from Bamba’s polished hook shot and ability to finish in the paint. The team will also be looking to improve his jump shot, which some scouts say is a bit flat. With the said, there is no reason to think that Bamba cannot at least develop a consistent mid-range jumper. He has also run into trouble at times with his back to the basket so he will also need to improve his post-up game.
Overall, Magic fans should be thrilled with the team’s newest edition. Bamba is exactly the type of player that you can build around. Paired with last year’s draft pick, Jonathan Isaac, Orlando will have quite the shot blocking duo. And you can bet this excites new head coach Steve Clifford, who look to make the most out of Bamba’s rim protecting ability.