#2: Mo Bamba-Philadelphia 76ers
Unfortunately, the young center has been plagued by injuries his entire career, missing a ton of games due to various ailments throughout his five years in the NBA. After being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers at last year’s trade deadline, Mo Bamba appeared in just seven games with his new team before an ankle injury cost him nearly the entire second half of the regular season and the playoffs.
In the offseason, he signed a one-year deal with the Philadelphia 76ers, but head coach Nick Nurse has used him sparingly. Finding consistent playing time while backing up the reigning MVP isn’t easy. Still, he’s recorded ten blocks while playing just 6.1 minutes per game this season, showing his penchant for shot-blocking. He averages 4.0 blocks and 13.8 rebounds per 36 minutes. Back in November, he recorded four blocks in just 14 minutes against the New Orleans Pelicans.
Bamba can help New York on both sides of the ball. Not only is he a good shot blocker and rim protector, he can also help stretch the floor and give Randle more room to operate in the paint. Since the start of the 2021–22 season, Bamba has converted 38.6 percent of his threes on 3.1 attempts per game. The Knicks haven’t had a center that could stretch the floor since Andrea Bargniani, so a player with Bamba’s skillset will surely add a new element to the offense.
With Bamba set to hit free agency again this summer, he’s essentially playing for his next contract. This would be a homecoming of sorts for the 25-year-old center, as he is originally from New York City. A change of scenery could do wonders for the seven-footer, which may very well be what the doctor ordered for the Knicks.