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Biyombo – NBA Draft boom or bust?

Bismack Biyombo is the unpredictable wildcard in this year’s draft. Some have him going as high as number five to Toronto, others have him going as low as number 15. We don’t know much about Biyombo, up until six months ago NBA GMs didn’t even have him on the radar, now he is the potentially biggest boom/bust pick in the draft. So should those GM’s be taking a ‘swing for the fences’ style risk on the 6’9” Congolese big man with a 7’7″ wingspan, or should they pass on potentially the biggest bust in the draft?

What don’t we know about Bismack Biyombo?

What we don’t know about Biyombo is his true age, with no official birth certificate, he claims he is 18, but most ‘best guesses’ have him as old as 22 or even some claim he could be 25. Without a true read on his age and the fact that Biyombo is such a raw talent, his NBA ceiling could be a lot shorter than expected, if he is at the older end of this spectrum.

So, what do we know about Bismack Biyombo?

What we do know is that he is a defensive specialist, grabbing rebounds and blocking shots. The Nike Hoops Summit game back in April was when Biyombo really popped up on to the NBA GM radar and his 11 rebounds and 10 blocked shots emphasized that he is a defensive talent.

We also know that he has little or no offensive game which hinders his upside for going even higher in the lottery. However, if teams are looking for a defensive specialist, then Biyombo could be their man.

We also know that, he is a very confident individual. In an excellent recent interview with Scott Howard cooper of nba.com Biyombo showed that he isn’t shy about predicting his future in the NBA:

So, do you believe you will lead the NBA in blocks?

“I do.”

Will you lead the NBA in blocks?

“Yes.”

Can you lead the NBA in rebounding?

“Yes, I will.”

You will lead the NBA in rebounding?

“Yes. Of course. Hundred percent.”

Biyombo led the ACB in Spain in shot blocking this year with 2.3 swats per game in just 16 minutes of action for Fuenlabrada. He also grabbed 5.1 rebounds per game in those limited minutes. On the offensive end, he did put up 6 points per game, which is not too bad from a guy billed as a defense first stopper.

Where will Biyombo go?

He doesn’t have any kind of range, or even a free-throw shot, but if your team gets their scoring from elsewhere, Biyombo could be an ideal choice for someone like the Golden State Warriors if he is around at pick number 11. He might certainly help propel new coach Mark Jackson’s in his bid to make the Warriors a defense first team and add even more personality to Jackson’s “hand down, man down” clichés.

Toronto has been rumoured as somewhere he could go to provide some help to the league’s worst defence, but with the number 5 pick and potentially the likes of Kemba Walker still around then, Toronto will go for a less risky pick.

More likely though, Biyombo will go at number 8 to the Detroit Pistons. Detroit needs a big man to complement Greg Monroe, protect the rim and improve a defence that allowed opponents to shoot 48.6% – the worst in the league last season. Biyombo would also fit the mold of two other Detroit defensive specialists of previous years, Ben Wallace and Dennis Rodman.

If Detroit does pass on him, then he may go to Milwaukee at number 10. The Bucks defensive style would certainly be a good fit and he would also provide cover for Andrew Bogut if he doesn’t completely return from injury in time for next season.

Biyombo – Boom or Bust?

In a weak draft, teams really need to draft based upon need. Biyombo can play right now and if you are looking for a guy who will come in and just help your defense with rebounding and shot blocking, then you could have a star with cult fame like a Dikembe Mutumbo shot blocking finger wag. However, if you are looking for the next Dwight Howard or a young Kevin Garnett; someone who will not only grab you 10 boards and block 5 shots, but score 25 points as well, then Bismack Biyombo could be a big bust.

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