The Chicago Bulls are deadset in the frontcourt, with All-Stars Nikola Vucevic and Andre Drummond splitting minutes at the center position. But this is the NBA, where things can quickly change in an instant. Could the Bulls make a move to acquire Orlando Magic big man Mo Bamba?
Opportunity down the road
The Bulls head to the start of the 2022-2023 season with few questions in the frontcourt. Aside from the aforementioned Vucevic and Drummond, they also have a healthy Patrick Williams and Derrick Jones, Jr. and reserves Tony Bradley and Marko Simonovic. As you can see, outside of the injured Lonzo Ball, the Bulls' roster is set and is primed to improve on their 46-36 record from last season.
One player the Bulls did try to snag in free agency was Mo Bamba. The 24-year-old had his best pro season to date during the 2021-2022 season as he posted career numbers of 10.6 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks in 71 regular season games. However, the Orlando Magic hit paydirt in the 2022 NBA Draft as they got the number one pick and used it to select Duke-product Paolo Banchero.
Banchero's presence complicates what is already a loaded frontcourt rotation for the Magic. Aside from Bamba, Orlando has the likes of Wendell Carter Jr., Moritz Wagner, Bol Bol, Chuma Okeke, and the returning Jonathan Isaac. Simply put, there aren't enough minutes to go around for everyone, and the Magic will likely have to move one or two of their bigs.
Bulls bullish on Bamba
This is where the Bulls come in. Their admiration for Bamba has not been a secret since they considered him in the 2018 NBA Draft before selecting Carter Jr. with the seventh pick. An Eastern Conference executive recently shared that now could be the right time for the Bulls to pounce on Bamba.
"The Bulls have liked Mo Bamba in the past and once he gets trade eligible (in January) that would be something where they could make a run at him. The Magic have no need for Bamba, long-term, not with Paolo Banchero and Carter there," said the executive to Heavy.com's Sean Devaney.
If the Magic make Bamba available, the Bulls have the pieces to get a deal done. They could offer a package centered around Coby White, as the Magic could use some veteran presence in the backcourt. However, it remains to be seen if the Magic would even entertain such an offer.