The Orlando Magic have had an up and down season as we near the All-Star break, as they’ve been led to 22 wins by All-Star center Nikola Vucevic’s best season as a pro, but also struggled to put it all together in the form of consistent winning due to an imbalanced roster.
Orlando has a number of young big men on the roster, and fitting them all together is the biggest challenge for coach Steve Clifford moving forward. This year’s sixth overall pick, Mo Bamba, hasn’t had a great rookie campaign, but he was always considered the biggest project of the top tier of big men.
Bamba is averaging 6.2 points and 5.0 rebounds per game in just over 16 minutes per, but after missing Orlando’s win over the Nets on Saturday, the Magic announced Tuesday the rookie had been diagnosed with a stress fracture in his left tibia and will be out indefinitely.
The good news is they believe they can treat the injury without surgery and his return to the court will be fully dependent on how the injury heals. Given that the Magic’s hopes of a playoff spot are slim right now — and that they have Vucevic starring at center — one would expect them to proceed with caution with Bamba.
Stress fractures for 7-footers are never something to mess with, and Orlando would be wise to have him take things slow with an eye on the future.