Nets: This former Top-10 pick could help revitalize Brooklyn’s defense

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 31: Head coach Steve Nash of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 31: Head coach Steve Nash of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /

The Brooklyn Nets have been as lethal as expected on the offensive end after putting James Harden alongside Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, but their already porous defense was exposed by the Washington Wizards in a loss that completely curdled Steve Nash’s guts.

While Iman Shumpert addressed the perimeter defense need, they could use some more reinforcements after Washington rammed the ball right down their throat. Oddly enough, the answer to Brooklyn’s issues could be found in a backup big man that inspired a trending rap song.

The Nets should be talking to the Orlando Magic about a potential trade, as former top pick Mo Bamba, a New York City native, has been wasting away on the bench after Khem Birch leapfrogged him in the starting lineup. Either by trading for him or waiting for a buyout, Sean Marks should be aware of his potential availability.

Mo Bamba could be a high-upside reclamation project for the Brooklyn Nets

While most 2018 NBA Draft lottery picks have worked out wonderfully, Bamba, who was picked sixth overall by Orlando out of Texas right after Trae Young and a few picks after Luka Doncic, has averaged just 5.7 points per game in his career.

Bamba’s 7-foot frame is intimidating enough, but his 7-10 wingspan gives him incredible two-way potential. However, Bamba hasn’t had his offensive game expanded in Orlando because his style mostly consists of dunking and shooting straightaway threes. At the very least, Bamba should be able to give the Nets another set of (very long) arms on the interior.

If anyone can turn Bamba into something worth watching on the offensive end, it’s a coaching staff led by Nash and Mike D’Antoni. After all, the post-Harden trade Nets are on pace to have the best offensive rating in NBA history. If the Nets want someone to dunk just like DeAndre Jordan while providing better defense, Bamba might be able to fill that void.

Bamba might not be the most productive player at the moment, but he’s only been in the league for three years, making him the very definition of untapped potential. If he can carve out a role for himself on a contender, perhaps he can experience a revival and make himself a commodity.