It was reported Wednesday by a source within the league that Mo Bamba, the former standout at Westtown School, will sign a one-year contract with the 76ers to play for the team at minimum pay. On Thursday, he can put the finishing touches on the agreement.
The center, who stands at 7 feet and weighs 231 pounds, will serve as a reserve for MVP Joel Embiid. Bamba was released by the Los Angeles Lakers on June 29, which led to his transfer to the Philadelphia 76ers. Following his acquisition through trade from the Orlando Magic on February 9, he played in nine games and posted a scoring and rebounding average of 3.7 and 4.6, respectively.
He was chosen by the Magic as the sixth overall pick in the NBA lottery in 2018. During his time in Orlando, Bamba appeared in 266 games and started 81 of them, averaging 7.7 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game.
As a senior at Westtown High School in 2017, the now 25-year-old Harlem native took part in the McDonald’s All-American game as well as the Nike Hoops Summit. Both Scout and Rivals ranked him as the second-best player in the country’s Class of 2018 at his position. The NBA Online Betting PH had him ranked third. He was recognized as the best center on all three different recruitment websites.
Bamba chooses Texas over Kentucky and Duke in addition to Michigan.
Bamba is the second player signed by the Sixers from the free-agent class. On Saturday, the Sixers and guard Patrick Beverley came to an agreement on a one-year, $3.1 million contract.
With the addition of Bamba, the Sixers now have 11 regular players on their roster. Three of the players that were released at the end of the last campaign have reached agreements to play for new clubs. Georges Niang is expected to put pen to paper with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Minnesota Timberwolves have agreed to acquire Shake Milton. In addition, Jalen McDaniels has signed with the Toronto Raptors.
However, Bamba is able to satisfy a need in Philadelphia. The Sixers have been searching for quite some time for a towering backup center who can protect the rim. The centers from the previous season, Paul Reed (6-9) and Montrezl Harrell (6-1) were both on the shorter side. Reed is currently under the terms of a qualifying offer from the Sixers worth $2.6 million, which makes him a restricted free agent. The three-year veteran is eligible to sign an offer sheet with any other NBA franchise at this point. The Sixers, on the other hand, have the ability to match it.