Windhorst: Mo Bamba Is Available in Trades; Mavericks Attempted to Land Rookie

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistFebruary 1, 2019

Orlando Magic center Mo Bamba (5) dunks the ball in front of Washington Wizards forward Trevor Ariza (1) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 25, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

The Dallas Mavericks acquired Kristaps Porzingis on Thursday from the New York Knicks, but they almost went in a very different direction in a trade including Dennis Smith Jr.

As ESPN's Brian Windhorst noted on The Hoop Collective podcast (h/t Sam Vecenie of The Athletic), the Mavericks were considering a deal for Orlando Magic rookie Mo Bamba. 

"When they iced Dennis Smith a few weeks ago...one of the teams they were talking to was Orlando about Mo Bamba," Windhorst said (20:11 into podcast). "Mo Bamba is available on the market."

Smith eventually became a centerpiece of the deal that landed Porzingis, which is a major upgrade for the Mavericks. The former Knicks forward is coming off a torn ACL but has already proved himself at this level and earned an All-Star selection last season.

Meanwhile, Bamba's availability remains interesting as we head toward the Feb. 7 trade deadline.

The 20-year-old was the No. 6 pick of the 2018 NBA draft and has played well when given an opportunity. He is currently averaging 6.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game this season, mostly in limited minutes off the bench.

At 7'0" with excellent length and the ability to both protect the rim and make jump shots, he is a promising prospect going forward.

Considering the Magic have few other young assets on the roster, it doesn't make sense for the team to bail on Bamba so soon.

If he is still available, other teams should probably start calling Orlando for more trade options.

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