Free Agent No. 4: Mo Bamba, Los Angeles Lakers
Transitioning to the center position, the Cavaliers will need to find a replacement for Robin Lopez as the “third” center behind Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley. Isaiah Mobley could get a full roster spot to fill that role, but more likely the Cavs keep him on a two-way deal for now and add a veteran option.
One intriguing option, perhaps available for the Bi-Annual Exception or even the minimum on a prove-it deal, is Mo Bamba. The former No. 6 overall pick has an intriguing combination of an insanely large wingspan and a surprisingly accurate 3-point jumper. The potential of those two things coming together into a “3-and-D” center rim protector is tantalizing and worth a flier.
The problem, of course, is that Bamba hasn’t been able to put that all together, and he was supplanted in the Orlando Magic’s rotation by journeyman center Mo Wagner before he was sent off to the Lakers. How many more chances does Bamba get to become an impact big?
Perhaps at least one more, as Bamba is still only 25 years old. The Cavs want to win this year, certainly, but if they can unlock at least some of Bamba’s potential as a stretch-big that won’t sacrifice their paint defense, he would be an ideal backup to Mobley and Allen long-term. If the cost is low, it may be worth taking Bamba into the season and moving on from him for a veteran later in the year if necessary.