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Magic’s Mo Bamba will be on a minutes restriction in Summer League

Mo Bamba

The forgettable nature of Mo Bamba’s debut campaign ensured his first official NBA offseason would take on an extra level of importance. Unfortunately, due to the injury that prematurely ended his rookie season, the former high-lottery pick will be somewhat limited this summer, too.

Orlando Magic coach Steve Clifford said before his team’s Summer League opener on Friday that Bamba will be on a minutes restriction in Las Vegas, per NBC’s Michael Gallagher.

Bamba was sidelined in early February after doctors diagnosed him with a stress fracture in his left tibia. The Magic originally indicated he would return before the end of the regular season, but Bamba never recovered from the injury to an extent that would have made it safe to return.

In 47 appearances during the 2018-19 season, the No. 6 overall pick averaged 6.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks in just 16.3 minutes per game, shooting 48.1 percent from the field. The University of Texas product suffered a fractured left tibia in February, ending his rookie campaign early and robbing him of the chance to get his first taste of playoff basketball.

It’s currently unclear where Bamba fits into Orlando’s long-term plans. When the team drafted him last June, incumbent starting center Nikola Vucevic hadn’t yet posted the best season of his career, one that saw him improve substantially by leaps and bounds under first-year coach Steve Clifford – and to a new four-year, $100 million contract.

Bamba played well in the Magic’s Summer League debut, scoring 15 points and grabbing two rebounds in just 15 minutes of court time.