PHOENIX SUNS

Mohamed Bamba believes Suns would be playoff contender with him

Jun 1, 2018, 4:16 PM | Updated: Jun 2, 2018, 10:43 pm
Texas forward Mohamed Bamba (4) runs up court during the first half of an NCAA college basketball g...
Texas forward Mohamed Bamba (4) runs up court during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
(AP Photo/Eric Gay)

The talk surrounding the No. 1 overall pick for the Phoenix Suns is mostly around Arizona center Deandre Ayton and Real Madrid wing Luka Doncic.

On Evan Daniels’ podcast The Sidelines, though, Texas center Mohamed Bamba sees the logic in himself being someone for the Suns to prioritize because of how NBA ready he believes he is.

“I truly believe I’m a guy that can get up to speed the quickest and have the most immediate impact,” he said. “That franchise is honestly … I believe they’re a playoff contender with me in that lineup.”

Bamba is projected as a potential top-five pick.

Earlier on in his answer about the top spot of the draft, Bamba went more in-depth on the Suns and how he stacks up compared to today’s defensive centers.

“It’s very critical for [Phoenix] to draft the most reliable player, with the highest ceiling, who can also make an immediate impact,” Bamba said. “I’m not trying to be very boastful of my abilities and I’m not trying to be cocky or anything, but there’s only five guys in the league today that can protect the rim better than I can right now.

“I think that’s really what Phoenix needs most. They have guys like Devin, Josh, Elfrid and TJ and those guys are really great at scoring the ball but they need a guy like me who can change the geometry of the game.”

The 19-year-old was very thoughtful with his response, detailing what he sees that could help his development.

“A lot of that comes from defense and it’s just … Phoenix would be an awesome fit because you have guys like Tyson Chandler who is an amazing rebounder, an amazing vet who makes hustle plays,” he said.

Bamba watched The Players’ Tribune series “Rookie/Vet” chronicling Chandler’s relationship with Devin Booker and also knows new coach Igor Kokoskov spent time helping Rudy Gobert develop into a dominant rim protector.

“They have vets and they have the pieces to teach me and bring me in so the transitioning could be very smooth going into it.”

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