Interest in trade for Mohamed Bamba in 2018 NBA Draft

Recent New York Knicks rumors involve center Mohamed Bamba, as New York is reportedly considering a move up to select the Texas product.

New York Knicks rumors have picked up recently. With the 2018 NBA Draft just hours away, there will be plenty more rumors that pop up.

New York has been linked to a number of prospects as they own the No. 9 overall pick in the draft. Wing players such as Mikal Bridges and Kevin Knox have been heavily linked to the team. In the backcourt, Trae Young, Collin Sexton and Lonnie Walker IV have drawn attention as well.

Missing from that group are any frontcourt players. The Knicks already have a building block there with Kristaps Porzingis. While his status for the 2018-19 season is up in the air because of a torn ACL suffered in February, he is still the franchise cornerstone. If the Knicks have their way, they will have a new running mate for him in the frontcourt.

According to Ian Begley of ESPN, the Knicks are the most recent team to throw their hat into the ring for Mohamed Bamba. Begley reports that the team and Bamba met in New York on the eve of the draft, indicating that the team is interested in trading up in the 2018 NBA Draft to land the Texas product.

There are a number of teams that are looking to deal this year during the draft. One team that the Knicks could engage in conversations with is the Atlanta Hawks.

Atlanta currently owns the No. 3 pick in the draft. However, they are reportedly looking to move down in the draft, according to Yahoo! Sports‘ Chris Mannix. Their target in moving down, according to Mannix, is Oklahoma point guard Trae Young.

Another team to keep an eye on in the top-five is the Memphis Grizzlies. Memphis has been looking to shed the contract of habitually injured forward, Chandler Parsons. Parsons has played in only 70 games with the Grizzlies in two seasons since signing a four-year, $94 million deal in 2016.

To rid themselves of that contract, Memphis has been willing to attach the No. 4 overall pick to the deal. Jonathan Givony of ESPN reported that and confirmed the report that Begley was sharing.

Of those two selections, landing the No. 4 overall pick would probably be an easier task for the Knicks. Atlanta would presumably be looking for more in a trade package to move down in the lottery. In a deal with Memphis, the Knicks would be taking on the albatross contract of Parsons, which would be all the incentive Memphis needs to facilitate a deal.

If the Knicks do indeed make a move up the board and land Bamba, they would have arguably the most imposing frontcourt duo in the NBA. Porzingis is already one of the best rim protectors in the NBA, a role that Bamba is also expected to excel in as well.

While teams are going smaller and smaller nowadays, Bamba and Porzingis should be able to stay on the court together. Porzingis is extremely gifted, being called a unicorn. Bamba has shown throughout the draft process that he understands the changing landscape of the league.

Bamba has showcased his 3-point shooting during workouts and has great athleticism as well. He is able to hold his own on the perimeter, something he discussed with Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN.

“I want to put myself in the best position to stay out on the floor,” Bamba told Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN.com. “There’s a reason why a lot of bigs aren’t on the floor [at the end of games]. They can’t guard those smalls. They can’t shoot.”

Bamba is showing that goal is attainable with his workouts. If the Knicks are able to acquire him, and not have to surrender Frank Ntilikina in the process, they would have a lockdown defensive trio on their hands.

Moving up in the draft is never an easy task as you usually have to surrender something. However, if the Knicks are able to take on Parsons’ contract, they may not have to surrender much in the way of assets; they would be doing the Grizzlies the favor of taking on the bad contract, something we have seen the Brooklyn Nets do in recent years.

It would seem probable that the Grizzlies would ask for Frank Ntilikina in return. However, the Knicks should not be surrendering any assets of that level to take on Parsons’ deal.

Finding a third team could be the route New York takes if Memphis is looking for more than salary relief in a deal.

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