Former Texas center Mo Bamba, one of the most exciting prospects in the upcoming NBA draft, worked out for the Bulls today. By all accounts the workout went very well.
Draft prospect Mo Bamba joined the #Bulls for a workout today 👀
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) June 1, 2018
Mo Bamba said that the workout with the Chicago Bulls was awesome.
— Daniel Greenberg (@ChiSportUpdates) June 1, 2018
Mo Bamba on today’s Bulls workout. pic.twitter.com/CFG9mDn0Vj
— Darnell Mayberry (@DarnellMayberry) June 1, 2018
A month ago, you could have said Bamba would probably be available at #7. But then the NBA combine happened, making it far less likely he falls outside of the top 5.
Both the eye test and the statistics show that Bamba has a really good chance of becoming a game-changing defender and rebounder at the NBA level. He led the Big 12, arguably the most competitive conference in college basketball last year, in blocks and rebounds as a 19-year-old freshman.
His combine measurements align with the eye test and the numbers.
Longest wingspans at the '18 #NBA combine
1. Mo Bamba (7'10)
2. Udoka Azubuike (7'7)
3. Jaren Jackson (7'5.25)
T-4. Isaac Haas / Austin Wiley (7'5)
6. Ray Spalding (7'4.75)
7. Wendell Carter (7'4.5)
8. Bruno Fernando (7'4.25)
9. Kevin Hervey (7'3.5)
10. Keita Bates-Diop (7'3.25) pic.twitter.com/tQttHKlPVB
— DraftExpressContent (@DXContent) May 17, 2018
In a draft filled with post prospects, Bamba might have the highest ceiling of all. Deandre Ayton is the class favorite, but he was less dominant than he could have been at Arizona while seeming disengaged far too often during big games. Still, it would be a shock if Ayton fell outside the top-2.
Marvin Bagley’s defensive concerns may be stronger than Bamba’s offensive ones, and Jarren Jackson Jr. was the #4 option on a not-that-loaded Michigan State squad.
Bamba is considered an offensive project, and he likely is. But you could argue the concerns over his offensive games are nitpicky and overblown.
He averaged 13 points a game on 54% shooting. More importantly, he’s already started to develop a 3-point shot. Granted he only made 27.5% of his 51 attempts, but the work ethic and the desire to succeed is already there.
Pay no attention to the makes and misses, as there are literally no defenders contesting him, pay attention to the stroke. That’s not at all an ugly or unfixable shooting form.
If Bamba stays healthy, he could have the same defensive impact as Rudy Gobert, Deandre Jordan and Tyson Chandler have had. Imagine how good any of those three players would be if they had a jump shot?
With the young core the Bulls have in place, Bamba would fit in swimmingly as a monster rim protector and will immediately contribute offensively as a rebounding, screen setting, rim rolling big with potential pick-and-pop capability.
Mo Bamba calls the Bulls one of the best fits for him in this draft.
— Cody Westerlund (@CodyWesterlund) June 1, 2018
Can’t do much better than that with the #7 pick, it would be quite a treat if Bamba slipped to the Bulls on draft night.