Texas freshman Mo Bamba is pretty much a lock to go somewhere in the lottery. The center our of Harlem may not be in the Deandre Ayton/Marvin Bagley tier, but he has the upside and measurables to be one of the best players in this draft. Specifically, Mo Bamba’s wingspan is out of this world.
During the season, a lot was made about Bamba’s prodigious length. He averaged 3.7 blocks per game for Texas, blocking a shot roughly every eight minutes he was on the floor. Amazingly, the official measurements are actually better than what most floated out there.
During the NBA Draft combine today, Bamba measured in at 7-feet and 3/4 inches. His wingspan: 7-foot-10.
Mo Bamba measured at 7 feet and 3/4, with a ridiculous 7-10 wingspan and a 9-7 1/2 standing reach.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) May 17, 2018
Mo Bamba’s wingspan number is jarring.
Those numbers give him an unreal standing reach of just under 9-feet, 8-inches. Rim protection is at a premium among big men, and he provides it in a big way.
Mo Bamba is a freak of nature! His official combine measurements are in. He's 7'0.75 in shoes. He has a ridiculous 7'10 wingspan and 9'7.5 standing reach. He's also at an insane 6.2% body fat.
— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) May 17, 2018
Bamba is also an offensive threat. He averaged 12.9 points per game for Texas, hitting over 54-percent of his shots. He also averaged over 10 rebounds per game.
A workable three-point shot is almost a requisite in today’s NBA, even for a big man. While it isn’t a strength, it is something Bamba’s working on.
At Texas, he hit 14 of his 51 attempts on the season. He’s looking to improve it and add it to his arsenal. From a recent profile on The Ringer:
No one expects Bamba to take a Tatum-sized leap as a long-range shooter (he shot 27.5 percent from 3 at Texas on a grand total of 51 attempts), but if he can make opposing defenders respect his jumper, he’ll be among the rarest of unicorns—a 7-footer who can block shots at one end of the court and give the opposition fits at the other, acting as a kind of stretch 5. Each morning, Bamba shoots 100 3s. Each night, in the second of his two-a-day workouts with Hanlen, he shoots another 150. Soon enough, they’ll increase the evening 3-point attempts to 200, then eventually top out at 250, ratcheting up to 350 per day by the time the draft rolls around.
If Bamba can become an average three-point shooter, and continue to block shots the way he did in college, that is a prototypical modern NBA center. He probably won’t be one of the first three players off the board, but he’s definitely in play soon after.