2 minimum-level players the Cavaliers can still sign

Derrick Jones Jr., Chicago Bulls. (Photo by Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports)
Derrick Jones Jr., Chicago Bulls. (Photo by Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Cleveland Cavaliers
Mo Bamba, Los Angeles Lakers. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images) /

No. 1: Mo Bamba

Mo Bamba has never really lived up to the expectations as being the sixth overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, which is okay. Not every draft pick will be a home run. However, Bamba has carved out a decent career so far as a rim protecting backup center, for the most part. For his career, he’s averaged 7.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game.

As was previously mentioned, his main asset is rim protection, as that was his main selling point coming out of college at Texas, and upside. He averaged 3.7 blocks per game in college, which is super impressive, but he didn’t get the chance to be the starter much, as Nikola Vucevic was an All-Star for the Orlando Magic.

Bamba did start in 69 of his 71 appearances in the 2021-22 season, though, and had career-bests with 10.6 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per contest. He would eventually sign a two-year, $20 million contract extension last offseason.

But Bamba’s role would decrease last season with Orlando, given their surplus of bigs and forwards, and Paolo Banchero’s arrival was something to keep in mind there as well.

Bamba would eventually get traded to the Los Angeles Lakers near the past deadline, and was waived this offseason to cut costs, as his second season in his extension had a $10 million team option. As of now, he is still sitting in free agency. It’s hard to imagine any deal he gets will be a long-term deal, so why couldn’t the Cavaliers throw him a minimum contract?

He has had injury problems in his career to this point, but Bamba is still only 25 years old, so he might still have some potential left in the tank to be a solid NBA player. He’s also a career 35.9 percent three-point shooter, which is noteworthy for a 7-footer.

Bamba’s strides there the past two seasons were very encouraging, and there’s reason to believe he can really hone in on that part of his game.