Mohamed Bamba - most physically-gifted big man in 2018 draft
Texas freshman Mohamed Bamba is almost certainly going to be a high lottery pick in the 2018 NBA draft, and although he is not the most-talented big man in the draft, he is the most physically-gifted. He is 7'0.5" tall with an extremely-wide 7'9.5" wingspan. He has a thin frame, so much of that wingspan is derived from his arm length and not from shoulder width. He has been able to bring his weight up to 225 pounds.
In the video below, you can watch Bamba go against Duke's Marvin Bagley. Bagley clearly won the offensive battle with 34 points and 15 rebounds. Mo came away with nine points and 10 rebounds. Look at the arm length of Bamba when they are at his side:
Bamba's defense is outstanding, but his offense needs work. His three-point shots have to be improved (15.4% from three) and his free throw shooting is only 60.0%. Here is NBADraft's Evan Tomes evaluation of Mo:
NBA Comparison: Rudy Gobert
Strengths: 7’0.5 big man with incredible length (7’9.5 wingspan and 9’5 standing reach) and big hands ... Good athlete. Well-coordinated. Runs the floor. Good fluidity ... Changes the game as a defender and covers a lot of ground. Has the potential to be an elite defender at the highest level ... Blocks and alters everything in the paint. Tremendous anchor and help defender. Leaves his feet when necessary, doesn’t pick up bad fouls when players try to throw their body at him ... Shows a solid foundation for a face up game ... Can shoot from midrange pretty consistently. Shows some touch within close with his left hand ... Rebounds everything he can get a hand on. … Extremely bright kid who got offers from Ivy league schools like Harvard ...
Mohamed is far from a finished product. He will be a bit of a project for the NBA team that takes him, but he should be able to have an impact right away on the defensive end.Tomes' NBA comparison for Bamba is Rudy Gobert, and that seems right. At the NBA level he should be able to run the floor, rebound, defend at the rim and away from it, and switch quite effectively. That would fit the Celtics system as his offensive game improves. I believe Danny Ainge will be evaluating Bamba's NBA possibilities.
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Photo via Pete Christopher/AP
Video via Frankie Vision