Bamba’s defensive impact
Firstly, while injuries have been an issue with Bamba, whose 2022-23 season was cut short because of an ankle injury, when he’s been in games, he’s going to be a high level rim protector. Bamba’s 7-foot frame and humungous 7-foot-10 wingspan have led to him sending away his share of interior looks over the years, where he made his presence felt there with the Orlando Magic before being dealt to the Lakers.
Bamba has averaged 1.3 blocks in 18.0 minutes per contest over his five-year career, and he’s posted 2.7 blocks per-36 minutes, with a block rate of 6.7 percent over that span.
If Cleveland were to sign Bamba this summer, provided he were to be on the market, they could be confident in non-Allen minutes with Bamba in there patrolling the paint for stretches on defense.
He can be a true rim deterrent in bench stretches, and his length in some lineups with Evan Mobley could provide Cleveland with another great shot altering player to have in the paint to cause hesitation from drivers.
Granted, the issue with Bamba has been he does have a tendency to get caught up at times and can take unnecessary fouls. He’s had 2.2 fouls per contest in his bench minutes, and 4.3 fouls per-36 minutes for his career.
With what Bamba brings as an interior defensive presence, though, for bench stretches his length and activity on the interior still could be crucial in giving Allen more meaningful rest, and in the playoffs, Bamba being a viable glass cleaner would help, too. He’s had a lifetime defensive rebounding rate of 25.1 percent.