“I want to be here,” Bamba said of his NBA future. “I just want to make that clear. I’ll let that stuff handle itself and continue to work.”
As Price details, Bamba enjoyed his best year as a pro during the 2021/22 NBA season, averaging a career-best 10.6 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 1.7 BPG and 1.2 APG across a career-most 25.7 MPG as a starter alongside fellow big man Wendell Carter Jr., who was drafted one slot behind Bamba in 2018. Bamba also did a good job protecting the rim, Price notes. A career 68.5% free-throw shooter, the 7’0″ Bamba also connected on a career-best 78.1% from the charity stripe on a modest 1.0 attempts per game.
There’s more out of the Southeast Division:
- After a disappointing 35-47 season, the Wizards face a fascinating summer. Bobby Marks of ESPN (Insider link) provides a thorough preview of Washington’s offseason, contending that it all starts at finding a reliable point guard to play alongside shooting guard Bradley Beal, who could decline his $36.5MM player option this summer and enter free agency. Center Thomas Bryant will also be an unrestricted free agent. Marks notes that, when it comes to assets, the team possesses 10 tradable player contracts and a lottery pick in the upcoming draft.
- Wizards head coach Wes Unseld Jr. intends to monitor the development of the team’s two most recent second-round selections, reserve point guard Cassius Winston and backup forward Isaiah Todd, writes Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. “It’s a big offseason for those two,” Unseld said. “It’s a big offseason for all of our young guys. You’re going to have a season of ebbs and flows. Consistency is the thing we’re searching for and that’s one thing that young players at times have difficulty with… I thought Cash had some really good moments. Not a ton of sample size with the Wizards, but even with [Washington’s NBAGL affiliate the Capital City Go-Go]. Both he and Isaiah had big games and great opportunities to learn and grow.” Winston averagd 12.7 PPG and 4.6 APG as a reserve with the Go-Go, while Todd logged 12.1 PPG and 5.2 RPG for Washington’s G League club.
- While the Hawks won Game 3 on Friday to pull to within 2-1 in their first-round series, the Heat’s performance so far is showing Atlanta what the team still needs in order to make consistently deep playoff runs, writes Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. Kirschner opines that finding a great perimeter defender needs to be a top priority for the Hawks in their roster-building, as Miami All-Star small forward Jimmy Butler has largely been dominant against Atlanta wings De’Andre Hunter, Bogdan Bogdanovic and Kevin Huerter.