Mo Bamba could be an intriguing free agent target for the Milwaukee Bucks

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - NOVEMBER 20 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - NOVEMBER 20 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /

A fascinating position for the Milwaukee Bucks this coming offseason will be the center position, where they will have some question marks.

Brook Lopez will be eligible for an extension coming off a tough year due to a mid-season surgery on his back, Bobby Portis is set to ponder his player option for next season, and Serge Ibaka will be an unrestricted free agent. Jon Horst, Milwaukee’s general manager, will have his hands full trying to get everything sorted once the offseason officially begins, but due to the free agent statuses of both Portis and Ibaka, the Bucks may need to think about adding another center, and one player of interest should be Mohamed Bamba.

Why Mo Bamba could be an intriguing free agent target for the Milwaukee Bucks

Mo Bamba has had a solid four-year run with the Orlando Magic, but it seems that his tenure with the franchise may be coming to an end after the team landed the first pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. According to Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer, league personnel believe that Orlando could move on from Bamba after gaining the first overall selection due to the idea of them potentially bringing in Jabari Smith Jr. or Chet Holmgren. Bamba, a soon-to-be restricted free agent, will likely be out the door this offseason, and the Milwaukee Bucks could be the perfect place for him due to the sheer level of uncertainty surrounding their current center position.

There are questions as to whether or not Lopez may be Milwaukee’s long-term answer at center, given that he is 34-years-old and coming off a major surgery. While the Bucks will likely offer him an extension regardless, bringing in another big man that is 10 years younger would not be a bad idea. Meanwhile, the Bucks are likely to be down at least one center this offseason, as it would be tough to envision Ibaka coming back next season after he hardly played down the stretch after he was acquired at the trade deadline. Of course, there is also the uncertainty surrounding Portis, as the big man will likely opt out of his upcoming player option to test the free agent market. If he ultimately leaves in free agency, it would be a significant loss for the Bucks, but adding a big man like Bamba could help soften the blow tremendously.

The 24-year-old is coming off the best year of his career as he averaged a reputable 10.6 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.2 assists, and 1.7 blocks in 25.7 minutes per game, all of which were career bests for the center. Bamba would be a seamless fit with the Bucks due to what he brings on both sides of the ball. Offensively, Bamba is more than capable of doing some damage down low, but he also showcased this past season that he can stretch the floor, having knocked down 38.1 percent of his 3-pointers on four attempts per game. For a 7-foot center, that is undoubtedly impressive, and it could make him the perfect pairing with Giannis Antetokounmpo, who thrives when his cast can knock down their triples. Defensively, Bamba would provide shot-blocking and interior protection when Lopez is not on the floor, which would be significant.

Adding Bamba would also help add some youth to this roster, which is something that this team desperately needs after having one of the oldest rosters in the league this past season. If Portis ultimately leaves, Bamba could be an ideal replacement, and having him learn under Lopez would help the 24-year-old continue to develop his game. Although it is uncertain what Bamba could be seeking in free agency from a financial perspective, the Milwaukee Bucks should keep an eye on his situation with the Orlando Magic as the 2022 NBA Draft inches closer.

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Stay tuned to see how things eventually unfold for the Milwaukee Bucks at the center position.