Every team is trying to create some variation of a small-ball lineup with a stretch-5. Meanwhile, the Orlando Magic have 5 centers on their roster. The drafting of Mohamed Bamba will lead to a culture change in Orlando, and hopefully, help the Magic improve in their struggling ways.
Mo Bamba, Less Problems?
Versatility is key in today’s modern era. Switchability on screens and players who can guard multiple positions are some of the most prized possessions on a championship contending team. Mo Bamba, especially when on the court with Jonathan Isaac and Aaron Gordon, will make the defense much better than his counterpart, Nikola Vucevic, whose stats prove the team was better defensively with him off the court during the 2017-18 season. A combination of Bamba, Isaac, and Gordon all offer the potential of a great fast-break, above the rim play, outside-scoring, and lockdown defense.
During the six seasons with Vucevic as the starting center, Orlando averaged 4.2 blocks per game as a team. That places the Orlando Magic in the bottom ten during that long rebuilding stretch. Mo Bamba averaged 3.7 blocks per game last season in college. Though it may be ridiculous to assume that Bamba will match his college production levels, Bamba clearly has the potential to be the best shot blocker in Orlando since Dwight Howard.
Rebuilding Pieces and Hope for the Playoffs
Though Mo Bamba himself will not guarantee a playoff spot for the Orlando Magic, he does lead to a lot of flexibility for the Magic moving forward. If Bamba can play full time as a starter, the expiring contract of Nikola Vucevic could become an incredibly intriguing asset. A pick or another shooting wing would both improve the Magic greatly. A young core built around Bamba, Isaac, and Gordon may not contend for a title anytime soon, but they will be good enough to excite a fan base that has grown apathetic over the years. With Bamba, the Magic may finally have an identity and a direction that goes in only one direction, up.
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