Former Texas center Mohamed Bamba is the No. 4 overall pick to the Memphis Grizzlies in The Ringer’s first 2018 NBA mock draft following the NBA draft lottery on Tuesday.
It’s one of the highest projections yet for Bamba. He was selected behind Real Madrid’s Luka Doncic, Arizona’s Deandre Ayton and Michigan State’s Jaren Jackson Jr. Bamba is highly regarded for his defensive abilities and his size, and The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor is intrigued by his potential to develop a jump shot as well.
Bamba’s immense defensive upside is tied to his otherworldly wingspan. His potential as a perimeter threat could make him a 3-point-shooting Rudy Gobert.
The Grizzlies could use young talent in the front court after Zach Randolph left in free agency last summer and with Marc Gasol getting older. Bamba, listed at 7 feet and 207 pounds with a 7-foot-9 wingspan, could make a difference from Day 1 as a rebounder and rim protector. At 20 years old, he has a lot of time to develop.
Bamba averaged 12.9 points, 10.5 rebounds and 3.7 blocks per game as a freshman at Texas. He helped lead the Longhorns to an NCAA Tournament berth as a No. 10 seed.
The 2018 NBA Draft is Thursday, June 21 at 7 p.m. ET.