Mo Bamba is a perfect match for the Chicago Bulls in free agencyJosh De Lucaon June 30, 2022 at 12:00 pm

The NBA offseason is in full swing. With trades being finalized and rumors going around, it’s safe to say that every team has something to look forward too. The Chicago Bulls have already been linked to multiple names in free agency with Mo Bamba being the most recent.

Bamba, a first-round pick in 2018, averaged 10.6 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game last season with the Orlando Magic. Bamba put up these numbers while only playing 25 minutes a game.

Last season is the first in which Bamba was the designated starter for the Magic. He started in 69 of the possible 82 games. In his previous 3 years combined, Bamba only started a total of 6 games.

A lot of Bamba’s early struggles were due to injuries and scheme fit. For the first 3 seasons in Orlando, current Bulls center Nikola Vucevic was the starting center. At the time, Vucevic was the best player on the Magic, earning multiple All-Star appearances.

Due to this All-Star level play in front of him, Bamba only saw around 14-16 minutes a game in the first few years in the NBA.

However, the slow start could be a positive for the Bulls. Because Bamba has only started 75 games in his NBA career, he won’t be out of the Bulls price range. It would be a lot cheaper to bring Bamba in this offseason, rather than trying to trade young assets for a more established player.

On top of being cost-efficient, Bamba perfectly fits the Bulls’ needs. Last season, they ranked 22nd in opponent points in the paint per game. The Bulls defense wasn’t great as a whole but a solid rim protector is the Bulls biggest need.

In addition to being an immediate impact on the defensive end, Bamba showed he can be a force on offense as well. Last season, he shot 38.1% from deep.

Percentage-wise, this puts him in an elite group of NBA centers. His combination of length on the defensive end and shooting on offense makes Bamba an ideal center for the Bulls.

The first thing the Bulls need to figure out is what they are going to do with Nikola Vucevic. It’s been rumored that the Bulls are shopping him this offseason. This decision could very well determine what happens with Mo Bamba.

The Chicago Bulls should strongly consider Mo Bamba in free agency right now.

Either way, Bamba would be a great addition. Last year in Orlando, Bamba started alongside former Bull Wendell Carter Jr. Although both Bamba and Carter are both centers, they both started and complimented each others games well.

The same can be done in Chicago. Billy Donovan is an experienced head coach who could make a Bamba and Vucevic frontcourt work.

Vucevic is a known post player who can create his own shot down low. Bamba is completely the opposite. His game revolves around the catch and shoot game rather than setting up in the paint.

If Vucevic does in fact leave Chicago, the center position would be up for grabs and Bamba would be a cheap and reliable option.

The Bulls did make some big strides last season but it’s obvious that nobody is satisfied. With most of the struggles coming from the defensive side of the ball, Mo Bamba could be the missing piece for the Bulls. With all the firepower that the Bulls already have, adding Bamba would just be like adding gas to the fire.

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