The Heat aren’t the only team that an Eastern Conference executive sees as a possible landing spot for Bamba.
“I thought it was a steal and a really smart thing they did by signing him, giving him ($10.3) million, (plus) an option for next year,” the Eastern Conference executive told Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney regarding the Magic. “That is very, very friendly to the team. He could be a really big commodity this winter or next summer. I think if you are a team like the [Los Angeles] Lakers and you’ve been so careful with the two picks they have (2027 and 2029), a young player like Bamba, that is why you save those picks, if he comes available. He’s someone the Heat have been interested in, too, and they might have to give up a young guy and a pick to get him. The [Brooklyn] Nets, he grew up in New York, they would like to have him, too. I am not sure they have enough young assets to send back but if the Magic like Cam Thomas, that can work.”
Bamba, 24, was the No. 6 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft by the Magic. He has appeared in 226 games and made 75 starts during his first four NBA seasons, all with Orlando. He averaged 10.6 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game in the 2021-22 campaign while shooting 48.0 percent from the field and 38.1 percent from beyond the arc.
The Magic brought Bamba back this offseason when he was an unrestricted free agent, but the team has a lot of depth in the frontcourt with Wendell Carter Jr., Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero and Jonathan Isaac.
If the Magic decide that they can get an asset that will help them going forward in exchange for Bamba, it could be something they explore this season.
The Heat currently have Bam Adebayo, Omer Yurtseven and Dewayne Dedmon as the primary centers on their roster. However, with the departure of P.J. Tucker in free agency this offseason, the Heat could bring in a player like Bamba and play him alongside Adebayo in certain lineups.
While there is nothing set in stone for Miami, Bamba is certainly a player to watch early on in the 2022-23 campaign.
The Heat finished with the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference last season, but they lost to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals. After not making a major move this offseason, it’s possible the team will look to make a midseason deal to fortify the roster.