Despite losing their best player, Kawhi Leonard, in the 2019 NBA free agency, the Toronto Raptors made it clear to the entire league that they have no intention of undergoing a full-scale rebuild. Though they no longer have Leonard, the Raptors are confident that the core of Kyle Lowry, Pascal Siakam, Serge Ibaka, and Marc Gasol could help them remain a competitive team in the Eastern Conference. However, it remains unknown how long the Raptors can hold on that type of mindset, especially if they start to realize that they don’t have what it takes to defend the NBA championship title in the 2019-20 NBA season.
If the Raptors finally decide to take a different route, they should consider trading some of their veterans and start building the roster around Pascal Siakam. According to Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report, one of the NBA players that the Raptors could target before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline is Mohamed Bamba of the Orlando Magic.
“Whenever the Raptors flip that switch, they should chase cheap upside wherever they can find it. Mohamed Bamba would be a fascinating option to start. His upside stretches as far his 7’10” wingspan. He has Defensive Player of the Year potential as both an intimidating anchor and a capable perimeter switcher. If he finds consistency with his shot (21 threes in 47 games), he’ll offer the ideal skills of a modern big. So, how could he possibly be had at a discount? Because the Magic have a traffic jam on their interior, and they just blocked Bamba for the foreseeable future by giving Nikola Vucevic a four-year, $100 million deal.”
Toronto Raptors: The original Dino jersey finally returnshttps://t.co/Wx73VcPX4J— Raptors Rapture (@raptorsrapture) August 30, 2019
Trading for Mohamed Bamba makes a lot of sense for the Raptors, especially if they finally decide to undergo a rebuilding process. At 21, Bamba is a perfect fit with the timeline of Pascal Siakam. Bamba may not have managed to impress in his rookie season, only averaging 6.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks while shooting 48.1 percent from the field and 30 percent from beyond the arc. However, being traded to a team that can assure him a starting role and a significant playing time could help him unleash his full potential and speed up his development into a legitimate superstar in the league.
As of now, the Magic haven’t shown any sign that they are planning to trade Mohamed Bamba before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline. However, with the emergence of Nikola Vucevic, who signed a four-year, $100 million contract in the 2019 NBA free agency, on their roster, Bamba is clearly the odd man out in Orlando. With the logjam in their frontcourt, the Magic aren’t expected to demand much in return for Bamba. As Buckley noted, the Raptors could acquire Bamba by simply sending players to the Magic that could help them balance their roster.