Mohamed Bamba, USA, C, Class of 2017, Uncommitted, 18.9
-Elite physical profile for a center prospect at 7'0, with a 7' 9 wingspan and a 9' 6 standing reach. Very light in his lower body (216 pounds) but has wide shoulders that are bound to fill out really nicely in time.
-Super light on his feet running the floor. Extremely fluid for his size. Quick diving to the rim. Lob target thanks to his massive reach. Can get up in space.
-Has the tools to be a monster defensively. Nimble enough to step out and switch ball screens, space defending and using his huge reach to contest. Quick enough to recover to blocks at the rim if beat. Length and quick leaping should help him develop into an excellent rim protector. Good instincts and timing. Lifetime 4.1 blocks per 40 minutes. Figures to have an immediate impact on the defensive end if he's willing to embrace that role and play with consistent energy.
-Doesn't find a body but uses his tools to gobble up rebounds on both ends - 16.2 boards per 40 minutes. Quick to the ball. Huge rebounding radius.
-Solid IQ on the floor. Very intellectual off the floor. Can high low pass. Finds cutters out of the post. Knows how to play.
-Solid shooting mechanics for his size. Shoots it a little flat but the ball comes out OK. Has good rotation. 68.9 career free throw percentage. May not develop into an NBA 3-point shooter but should at the very least become a respectable mid-range shooter.
-Solid footwork in the post. Can make a right-hand jump hook. Has touch around the rim.
-Has the agility to straight line drive in space.
-Incredible upside given his tools, defensive versatility, budding offensive skill set and overall IQ.
-Thin in his lower body. Still only 216 pounds. Not a very physical guy.
-Motor really runs hot and cold. Looks disinterested at times. Walks around, doesn't jog off the court when subbed out.
-Needs to play with more toughness to maximize his defensive potential. Gets posted up without much resistance. Defensive fundamentals have room to improve. Bites on fakes. Doesn't take great angles on the perimeter.
-Over-thinks the game at times. Can play a more reactionary game.
-Shoots it a bit flat. Forward jumper. Cocked back, off to the side of his head.
-Can develop more of a go-to move on the block. Falls away, avoids contact. Can add more to his mid-post, face up game. Would benefit from a consistent face up jumper, rip through spin finish.
-Struggles to finish in a crowd at times. Needs to be in space to get off the floor. Avoids contact.
-Stands and watches on the defensive glass. Doesn't want to find a body. Relies on tools more than fundamentals.
-Not the most durable guy. Gets dinged up easily. Can he stay healthy long term?
Bamba is a tantalizing prospect with #1 pick type upside who often leaves scouts and executives wanting more. On one hand, his tools are other-worldly and his two-way potential is unquestioned. In an era where length, agility, IQ and touch are coveted, Bamba checks all the boxes and has a monstrous ceiling that other top prospects simply can't match. On the other hand, far too many big-time prospects have failed to live up to expectations due to a hot-cold motor and semi-disinterested approach, a skill that is harder to develop over time than others. Bamba has yet to make his college decision, but going somewhere where he'll be tested, and forced to compete on a day-to-day basis should go a long way in helping him maximize his potential on both ends of the floor. If Bamba can find the inner-dog and compete on a consistent basis, he has a chance to develop into one of the more unique centers in the NBA some day. If Bamba is willing to skate by on tools along, it will may be hard for NBA teams to take the plunge and draft him as high as his upside suggests.