I will be honest: I have no idea who the Sixers will take at this spot. I had a few fans on Twitter insisting to me all last week that it would indubitably be Miles Bridges the team would take here. But what if, as I imagine here, Bridges is not available?
Philadelphia has a club option of $1.6 million for Richaun Holmes next season, and no other obvious candidate to be Joel Embiid’s backup next season. Considering Embiid’s health concerns (in addition to missing two entire seasons to start his career, he missed a month this year with an orbital bone fracture that is not yet fully healed and tends to linger for some guys), the Sixers need security behind him in the rotation. You’d like that player to have a bit more upside than Amir Johnson, who Philadelphia signed to a 1-year, $10 million deal for this season.
Bamba may never be a shooter, but then neither did Holmes, who was too inconsistent to earn that job full time this year. In the playoffs, Dario Saric has been Embiid’s backup, but that’s a solution that only works in the playoffs, when guys get far more playing time and extend their role. Bamba fits next to Saric (doesn’t everyone?), and in that 10-15 minutes per game role as Embiid’s backup, has the insulation to develop into an asset for Philadelphia.
This feels like a good option should a team like the Knicks reach for Bridges.