Could the Raptors make a play for Mo Bamba?

After securing the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, the Orlando Magic appear ready to move on from Mo Bamba in the event he denies their qualifying offer. Amit Mann and Oren Weisfeld look at how he could benefit the Raptors and whether he's an upgrade over Precious Achiuwa. Listen to the full episode on the 'Raptors Over Everything' podcast feed or watch on our YouTube.

Video Transcript

AMIT MANN: It seems like him and the Magic are about to part ways. He's a restricted free agent. But with them getting pretty high picked and they're going to be bringing in the player while they have a whole bunch of different kind of players. But you know, Wendell Carter, Mo Bamba, Chet Holmgren, whoever it's going to be, they got a lot of players that's similar body types.

And I'm sure that they're OK with throwing out five, six, ten guys. But in the end, I don't think they're going to be able to afford Mo Bamba, so that's where there could be a parting of ways in some capacity. Because, I think, there's a lot of teams that are going to be interested in his services. And the Toronto Raptors may be interested in his services.

And he's a person that's been rumored around the Raptors a little bit. I think a lot of fans have been keen on seeing how he would fit. And I think the fit, again, similar to an Ayton is pretty natural, yeah?

OREN WEISFELD: Yeah, I think-- definitely he has the three point shooting on offense. And then, he's a rim protector and he's a good rebounder on defense. I don't know if I like-- I don't think he's nearly as skilled as Ayton, especially in that kind of like short rule situation. He's not a very good passer. That touch in the mid-range, I don't think Bamba is really giving you that.

But again, he's 24 years old. And again, when I talk about taking risks, he is the type of risk that you want to take where he fills a position of need. He's young. He has room to grow, presumably, especially in a system that isn't the Magic's.


OREN WEISFELD: And yeah, he's not, necessarily, a traditional big in that he's not very strong. But he is 7 foot 1 and he's like a very elite rim protector. So he adds a different dynamic that their [INAUDIBLE] don't have. I'm not sure if that's how it would be my first priority to spend the money that they have on a guy like Bamba just because they have so many things right now.

And I'm not sure that that's the biggest need for the team. But at the same time, he gives you a bit of shooting on top of those big characteristics. So yeah, I wouldn't be mad at all if the Raptors took a swing here on Bamba and kind of-- he's not a sure thing, I'll say that. I'm not sure that Bamba you can pencil in for 20, 25 minutes with Nick Nurse's scheme. I'm not sure if he even is mobile enough to really play that scheme.

But it is-- it's a risk that you maybe take because he was so highly touted out of the draft and he's an interesting player.

AMIT MANN: And I wonder what the Raptors are thinking when they look at a player like Mo Bamba. Because, similar with Precious, they look at the player type, the body type, what they're able to do physically. And then, they're like, yeah, we can develop everything about your game. So it's cool if you have this limitation that way. Maybe you can't shoot. Maybe you're not-- don't have the best basketball IQ. But you can do this. You're long, you're tall, you're athletic, and so forth.

So I see them just like-- Masai kind of talked about it during his end of season. He's like, we will take chances on certain players because there aren't that many players like this 6' 8", 6' 9" vision that kind of fit the mold. And so, you have to take some risk and maybe take on some players that aren't exactly the caliber that you're looking for. But you've got to bank on their character and your development staff to make it happen. And Mo is an interesting player in that vein, too.

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