Bull Bamba is an idea I can get behind.
One day before the Orlando Magic center will hit the free-agent market, the Chicago Bulls’ name keeps coming up. Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer first noted that Chicago and Toronto are among several teams who appear to have interest in the big man. Then, The Athletic’s Kelly Iko also tied Arturas Karnisovas and Co. back to Bamba, reiterating that “a slew” of teams have their eye on the former lottery pick.
Why Bamba has quickly become one of the hottest names on the market is no surprise. Here’s a snippet from our latest free agency post about why he could make sense for the Bulls:
Mo Bamba played the best basketball of his career for the Orlando Magic last season, flashing the kind of two-way versatility that initially made him one of the NBA’s most intriguing young prospects. He shot 38.1 percent from downtown on 4.0 attempts per game while also averaging 3.2 blocks per 36 minutes on the other.
His combination of length and shot-making feels like a potentially easy fit for a Bulls team that desperately needs more traditional size but will still want to keep the lane clear for their two All-Star scorers.
Indeed, while Bamba may not be the strongest interior presence, he does possess borderline elite shot-blocking thanks to his superior length. He would immediately boost the team’s rim-protecting capabilities while also offering the kind of floor spacing we know this front office likes. Bamba’s 3-point potential could be viewed as a real asset for Chicago, especially after a season where they attempted the fewest deep balls per game in the league.
The Bulls would also get a player who could still very much continue his upward trajectory. Bamba – a former No. 6-overall pick – is just 24 years old and still possesses the kind of physical tools that fit marvelously in today’s NBA. With that in mind, there could always be a world where Chicago views Bamba as an option for the post-Vooch era, as the current All-Star big man is expected to his unrestricted free agency next season.
To be sure, I’m not positive I’d take that risk on a guy who has played over 62 games just once in his career, but that one season did come in 2021-22, so perhaps better days are ahead.
As a backup option, though, the Bulls could do a whole lot worse than Bamba. The question will just be whether or not a cap space team swoops in to overpay for his upside, which could quickly take Chicago out of the running.
More potential Bulls targets below: