Knightro wrote: PrimeThyme wrote:
pepe1991 wrote:I just don't see upside in drafting center in lottery nowdays.
I think In theory, the perceived upside for Bamba was Gobert. Though Rudy didn't go in the lottery, if he were to come out today he would easily be a top 10 pick and rightfully so imo. His skillset is extremely valuable in today's NBA and it's my belief that he, not Mitchell, is the real key to Utah's success.
I think teams looked at Bamba and saw the wingspan, shotblocking, and the defensive toolbox and thought he was somebody they could mold into the next Rudy. However, I think what I and teams in general misjudged was just how many elite defensive intangibles that Rudy has which just can't be replicated even if all the physical measurements line up.
The instinct, timing, and overall IQ is just on another level. While Bamba has improved, if he doesn't get at least close to the level of defender that Gobert is it will be extremely tough to justify him as a top 10 pick, but I still see the reasoning for taking him based on the potential.
This doesn’t happen for all players, but in theory Bamba’s defensive awareness will improve with the more experience he gets. I'm hopeful that the more he plays the more he will develop an understanding what he needs to do and where he needs to be to effectively defend moves and countermoves.
His shot blocking timing and instincts are actually already really good. He blocked 4.8 shots per 100 possessions this year at age 21 which is as good as Gobert at the same age (Gobert didn't play 500 NBA minutes as a 21 year old).
Qualified players who blocked 4.8/per 100 during or before their age 21 season.
Qualified players who grabbed 16.8 REB/per 100 during or before their age 21 season.
Andre Drummond x3
Moses Malone x2
Dwight Howard x2
Karl Anthony Towns
The massive difference between Bamba and Gobert (and other guys on the two lists) and the biggest red flag for me is still Mo’s low motor and overall lack of hustle and effort. Bamba unfortunately negates his own physical gifts a lot of the time by just flat out not playing very hard.
All that said...
Bamba has high end NBA ability already as a shot blocker. He has very good NBA ability as a rebounder already. His shooting range is developing nicely already. There’s no reason he shouldn’t be a good starting center in the league soon if he can figure out a way to give more consistent effort.
Lot of this numbers really don't mean much because they are measured in vacuum datas that always play in heavy favor for players who don't play much.
For 2 years in a row Mo Bamba averages 6,5 fouls per 100 possessions and per 36 min, he is also heavy -4,8 fouls a game.
There are many nba centers with solid tool-box that simply do not have talent, mobility and durability of Gobert. If you look at guys like Ian Mahinmi, Thon Maker, Capela, Ayton, Thomas Bryant, McGee, WSC... lot of them are actually strong, fast and athletic, yet nobody comes close to impact that Gobert has. And non of them is actually worth taking in lottery.
Talking about his jumpshot, while we talk about player who played 107 games, made 58 threes on 33% , while being wide open on 85% of them, and who got 1 three point shot contested in his nba career ( literally, one), and who can't even pass 65% on FT line, while shoots 34% from mid range as " shooting range that develops nicely" is borderline crazy talk to me.
What's actually bizzare and depressing is that he shoots 34,9% from pick&rolls when he rolls and brings 0,82 points per possession when he does it.
That's your 6'11 center with 8 foot wingspan that can almost dunk a ball without jumping, missing 65% of shots where he needs to do between 0 to 2 steps and dunk. To comparison to Gobert, he shoots 64% from same plays.
As for his motor, it's not just motor, it's understanding of basketball all together. Mcgee had nice motor, but was always too dumb to play more. We all know basketball defense in 99% of cases is not about shotblocking, rather making right decisions that will not put you in position where your center needs to save you. Tim Duncan couldn't jump over phonebook last 5 years of his career and was easly one of best defensive centers out there based on intelligence alone.
And given where Magic took him, being in objective range of landing Doncic or Young, and passing on SGA, passing on Porter Jr ( both could have been traded down for ) , and having Mitchell Robinson being BETTER player than Bamba, while providing everything Bamba provides - while being taken 36th, really makes whole logic behind that draft night head scratcher.
And even if Bamba was that new Gobert ( while they simply turned blind eye on everything negative reported about him), it would still not make that much difference because what makes Gobert - Gobert is fact they don't really need him to do much on offense rather just set picks and roll off, as they have Ingles, Mitchell, Conley, in past Rubio, now even Bogdanovic...
So even in Jazz vacuum, Gobert MIGHT be the most important player ,but without Mitchell and supporting offensive cast, they would still be lottery team .