Orlando Magic Gives Mo Bamba the Green Light

By Jeff Stinger

Orlando Magic’s big man Mo Bamba is reportedly available in a trade before the February deadline. Reports tell us that the franchise would move Bamba as his minutes in the rotation spiraled down. He is currently averaging 7.3 points and 4.8 rebounds in 25 appearances this season. It’s been tough for the 24-year-old to get playing time as he only played 10.7 minutes per game since January. This tells us that the franchise is not part of the long-term plans.

The Magic and Bamba have a contract through the 2023-34 season, but his $10.3 million salary for next year is non-guaranteed. Any potential suitor that takes on the 2018 first-round pick will likely release him before the campaign closes.

Now it looks as if the move could finally transpire just when the big man is playing some of the best basketball we’ve seen from him in a while. Nevertheless, the Texas product would be a solid addition to any team looking to add more attacking pieces.

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Mo Bamba is halfway out of the Magic’s rotation

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A crowded frontcourt

Although Mo’s progress is noteworthy, he’s one foot out of Orlando’s door for some time. Even during last offseason, many expected the team to turn down a contract with the Florida team as most anticipated a departure from the franchise that drafted him with the sixth overall pick in 2018. Now it seems as if both sides are ready to move on, just when the big man is doing well. The Magic announced his availability just before the trade deadline.

Bamba is not a starter for Orlando despite his positive performances. His best game this season happened in December against the Raptors. He dropped 18 points on top of nine rebounds and two blocks that helped the side overcome the 2019 NBA champions 111 to 99.

His availability for trade talks surfaced more following Jonathan Isaac’s return to the floor since sustaining a broken leg which kept him away for nearly two years. Now with the power forward good to go, the Magic are open to moving things around.

Another reason for his struggles to become a starter is due to the team’s in-form frontcourt. The lineup has Rookie of the Year favorite Paolo Banchero in their arsenal, including Bol Bol, Wendell Carter Jr., and Moritz Wagner.

Multiple bidders for Bamba’s services

The Clippers are reportedly looking to add another big man to their selection, and Orlando’s seven-foot bargaining chip might just fill that void. Rather than going for Myles Turner or John Collins, going for Mo Bamba is the more cost-effective option. Luke Kennard is a player that is up to par with Bamba’s salary in a potential trade, as the LA player still has this season and the following year before his contract closes.

Another interesting scenario that we put together could be a move to the same State. As it stands, the Miami Heat have been closely watching him in the past and are in desperate need to enhance their shooting and rebounding figures in hopes to sneak into this season’s playoffs. Bamba makes perfect sense for Erik Spoelstra’s requirements.

Bamba will have a sizable number of suitors at the trade deadline. This means the ball is in Orlando’s hands to decide which package will work best for them moving forward. The New York-born player can stretch the floor from the center position. He can shoot the ball from deep, collect rebounds, and contribute offensive sting.

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