Before Adam Silver comes to the podium to announce the fifth pick of the 2018 NBA Draft, the Dallas Mavericks need to pop on Drake in the war room and heed the advice of the Canadian rapper.
I only love my bed and Mo Bamba, I’m Sorry.
While that may not be the exact Drizzy lyric, drafting University of Texas freshman center Mohamed Bamba needs to be the Mavs plan. Bamba’s size, defensive skill set, and raw offensive potential is something Dallas can build a bright future around.
For starters, Bamba is a physical specimen unlike any other player the Mavericks have seen. Listed at 6’11” and weighing 225 pounds, Bamba has the size to anchor down the defensive interior of an NBA franchise.
But what should excite fans the most about Bamba’s frame is his 7’10” foot wingspan, the longest ever recorded at the NBA combine. Bamba’s length has the potential to disrupt any opposing trying to score in the paint.
Bamba’s size also helped him on the defensive end in his one year at the University of Texas. While down in Austin, he lead the Longhorns in rebounds with 10.5 per contest and 3.7 blocks per game, good for second in the nation. This is a recipe for an elite rim protector in the league.
Most of the question marks surrounding Bamba come from his offensive game, or lack thereof. According to Dave Ray’s scouting report on nbadraft.net, Bamba’s “possesses incredible physical tools but a raw skillset with great long term potential on both ends of the floor.” Bamba will more than likely be a defensive minded center, but the thought of head coach Rick Carlisle and his staff getting their hands on Bamba’s untapped potential should have Maverick fans salivating.
Another obstacle for Bamba is the need to put on more muscle to bang around with NBA bigs on a nightly basis. He looks to be going in the right direction as he’s gone from weighing in at 196 pounds at the 2017 Nike Hoop Summit to being listed at 225 on texassports.com. Getting to work with an NBA strength and conditioning coach and the fine dining establishments that Dallas has to offer should get Bamba to 250 in a year or two.
Going into Dirk Nowitzki swan song, adding Bamba to the mix will help the Mavericks build a team loaded with young talent. Bamba could potentially be a great pick-and-roll partner with Dennis Smith Jr. and Harrison Barnes.
While this team wouldn’t win a title next season and possibly miss the playoffs for the third year in a row, Nowitizki could at least feel good about the team’s future being in great hands.
In the end though, the Mavericks will take the guy who they feel helps them the most. But if it were up to this MFFL, -In my Drake voice- “Im wishin’ and wishin’ and wishin’ and wishin’, Im wishin’ on Mo Bamba.”
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