Lawrence Frank and the Clippers continue to make moves, with the most recent being the news they will sign veteran center Mo Bamba to a minimum deal.

Mo is a six-year player who was taken with the 6th overall pick by Orlando back in 2018. He played for 4.5 years in Orlando followed by a quick stint for the Lakers and then for the Sixers last year. For his career, he has averages of 7 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks in 17.2 minutes per game. Last season, those numbers were 4.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks in 13 minutes per game for a very good Sixers team. Not bad.

Let’s talk about the good stuff. Mo Bamba can shoot threes. The only year he took them with any volume was 2022 (4 per game), but he has averaged 2.3 attempts per game for his career on 36.3%. That’s a higher volume than Theis. Now, does that add real spacing? Seems unlikely. But it can’t hurt.

While Mo Bamba is not exactly Moses Malone, he’s also a better rebounder than Mason Plumlee or Daniel Theis. For his career, Bamba has a defensive rebounding% of 25% and a total rebound rate of 17.3%. Contrast that with Plumlee at 23.2% and 16.7%, and Theis at 18.5% and 13.6%. He will help the Clippers on the glass at least a bit.

Finally, Bamba is a better rim protector than Plumlee or Theis. He blocks more shots, is taller than Theis, and more athletic than either of the Clippers’ backups last year. He will bring a different dimension there.

Now for the bad. Bamba is not a particularly good basketball player in terms of overall impact. Metric stats think he’s ok on defense and pretty bad on offense. He’s an inefficient scorer, is frequently out of position, and is not a good passer. Despite overall skills and talent, teams have mostly been better with him off the court. In terms of who is better on an NBA court in 2024, I think Theis is.

However, Plumlee is 34. Theis is 32. Bamba is just 26, and while I don’t think he has much upside anymore, he is obviously not likely to fall off a cliff like Plumlee or Theis might. For a veteran minimum deal, he’s a fine signing, though I hope the Clippers bring in someone else with some experience as an alternative.

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