Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press
“I could really see myself with them,” he said of the Bulls, per Mike McGraw of the Daily Herald. “Lauri [Markkanen], he’s a really good 3-point shooter. He stretches the floor, which gives me a lot of room to operate in the mid-post and low-post area. Obviously I have to do my diligence to get stronger and better in those areas.”
Perhaps the biggest obstacle standing in the way of Bamba joining the Bulls is his own talent, which could lead to him already being selected before Chicago’s pick. Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report projected the Dallas Mavericks to pick the Texas product with the fifth choice in his most recent mock draft.
Bamba turned heads at the draft combine in Chicago with a wingspan of 7’10”, per NBA.com.
Kyle Boone of CBS Sports noted it set the wingspan record among players who have ever participated in the combine. What’s more, his standing reach of 9’7½” was the longest among this year’s class.
That record-setting wingspan was a primary reason Bamba swatted 3.7 shots per game in his one collegiate season. He also grabbed 10.5 boards a night while averaging 12.9 points.
As he mentioned, the big man would slide in nicely alongside Markkanen in Chicago’s frontcourt. The idea of the two developing together is an enticing one for Bulls fans, as Markkanen could stretch opposing defenses with his three-point shooting while Bamba makes them pay on the blocks.
He would also take some of the defensive pressure off Markkanen by covering the better big men Chicago faced and protecting the rim.
Unfortunately for the Bulls, he may not be available at No. 7.