Posted on: June 23, 2011 8:19 pm
Edited on: June 23, 2011 10:18 pm
Posted by Royce Young
I guess the NBA had a feeling when it added Bismack Biyombo to the Green Room earlier today.
The Kings picking seventh, completed a three-way trade with the Bobcats and it was for Charlotte to move up for Biyombo.
What are they getting with the great unknown from Congo? A defensive presence, an athlete and someone that has a lot of room to improve. They aren't getting someone that can score. They aren't getting someone that's going to be part of any offensive set they have. A lot of people have compared Biyombo to Ben Wallace and that's probably pretty accurate.
There are questions about Biyombo's real age, a potential buyout complication and if he really is as good as he showed in a couple showcases. A few months ago, he was a total unknown. But he wowed scouted and GMs in Portland, didn't look great in workouts but because of an ability to change games defensively, Biyombo went high in the lottery.
How does he fit in? I don't think he's a starter from day one, but with Tyrus Thomas alongside in that front line, the Bobcats definitely have some jumpers. They've got athletes. Biyombo said he thinks he can lead the league in rebounding and blocks, which is what the Cats are looking for. They could've looked for an offensive impact player, but Michael Jordan and new GM Rich Cho are defensive-minded people, and Biyombo fits right in with that.
Posted on: June 23, 2011 4:00 pm
Edited on: June 23, 2011 4:15 pm
Posted by Matt Moore
From Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer:
There are definitely serious talks going on between the Charlotte Bobcats and Milwaukee Bucks. Don't know all the particulars yet, but it sounds like the Bobcats could end up with the 10th pick and maybe send No. 19 to Milwaukee.via Inside the NBA: Bobcats-Bucks talks serious.
Particulars aren't available yet but Bonnell mentions several veteran players. It would appear that without a 2012 pick, the Bobcats and new GM Rich Cho are making a move to obtain more picks in this draft and get them high. Milwaukee has been rumored to be talking to Houston about moving down as well. It's clear the Bucks don't feel they can get a value pick at the 10 spot that fills a need for them and are looking to move back for a cheaper selection.
The Bobcats could theoretically end up with back to back selections. They'd have their pick of several players they've targeted in that range including Marcus Morris, Alec Burks, and Bismack Biyombo who worked out yesterday in Charlotte and impressed the coaching staff.
Rich Cho appears to be trying to start out his second NBA GM gig in Charlotte with a bang.
Posted on: June 23, 2011 11:40 am
Edited on: June 23, 2011 11:43 am
Posted by Royce Young
The invite list for the Green Room is already 14 long, but according to a tweet from Andy Katz of ESPN.com, add one more to the list.
Mystery man Bismack Biyombo is set to join the other projected lottery people in the Green Room for the draft tonight. The NBA invites players that it expects to be lottery picks to the Green Room. Biyombo either wasn't initially included or it just wasn't known, but the Congolese big man has been up and down the past few weeks with people trying to figure out where he'll land.
Right now, most projections have Biyombo going somewhere in the middle of the lottery, but a few mock drafts have him going as high as No. 4. Biyombo is an impressive athlete and potentially a game-changer on the defensive end. He's a raw talent but someone that a team looking for a big man will likely target.
Posted on: June 23, 2011 10:46 am
Join us starting at 1PM EST for a marathon NBA Draft LiveChat and Experience, coming to you from Newark, NJ at the site of the NBA Draft. We'll have our NBA bloggers sharing the latest news and taking your questions. We'll also have guest appearances from our college basketball experts at 2PM EST, and we'll talk NFL and labor news at 3PM EST. We'll be talking draft all the live-long day. As the day goes on you'll get the live experience from Ben Golliver who's on the scene of the draft sharing audio, video, and images from the draft. Join us, starting at 1PM EST!
Posted on: June 23, 2011 10:21 am
Edited on: June 23, 2011 11:33 am
Posted by Matt Moore
The Houston Rockets may have a dilemma at their spot, but they have no intention of hanging around to bite their fingernails over it. CBSSports.com's Ken Berger reports that the Rockets are shopping their two first-round picks, the No. 14 and No. 23, in order to move into the top ten. Specifically, Berger reports that talks have opened with the Detroit Pistons in a two-for-one swap that would allow the Rockets to get what they really want: a big man. Berger reports that late-riser Tristan Thompson is at the top of the list, along with Congolese phenom Bismack Biyombo.
The Pistons don't have an outstanding need beyond getting rid of their locker room-cancer vets, so this makes sense. It puts the Pistons in a position to gain more depth without getting stuck with a pick that's too good not to take, but only in a draft this low on star power. Still, that eight spot will have one of several good prospects available, especially with some of the reaches being discussed. However, it sounds like Detroit's not the only team Houston is chatting with in an attempt to move up.
The Racine Journal-Times reports that the Rockets are also talking to the Bucks about the No. 10 pick, and this one is more than just a pick-swap, there are players involved:
The teams have tossed around different trade scenarios with Bucks forward Ersan Ilyasova being prominently mentioned.via BUCKS NOTES: Milwaukee, Houston discussing a deal.
Ilyasova is a promising all-around player still with upside at 24, and would give the Rockets a talented big man to pair with Luis Scola. Patterson seems like a high cost, though, as he showed a world of potential in his rookie season. Budinger is just the kind of player that GM Daryl Morey often raises the value of and then sells high on, while Hill is still somewhat of a project. Draft Express reports that the Rockets may have sweetened their deal by including Courtney Lee, which would likely get the Bucks' interest considering their desperate need for backcourt depth.
The Rockets' pursuit of a big man makes all the sense in the world, considering Yao Ming's highly questionable return to Houston and their glaring need for height. Thompson makes for an odd fit next to Luis Scola, but Thompson has been the one player who has made the hardest charge up the draft rankings in the past 24 hours, with some reports pegging him as high as No. 4. Biyombo on the other hand is a freak athlete with great work ethic and the <a href="http://www.draftexpress.com/nba-pre-draft-measurements/?year=2011&sort2=DESC&draft=0&pos=0&source=All&sort=5" target="_blank">second-greatest wingspan of any prospect in the draft. Fellow workout prospect Chris Singleton described Biyombo as being able to scratch his knees standing up yesterday, which is just circus-clown freaky.
The Rockets need a homerun. In a draft without really any of those types of pitches, the Rockets seem dedicated to fighting their way into the batter's box anyway.
Posted on: June 19, 2011 6:17 pm
Edited on: June 19, 2011 6:46 pm
Posted by Matt Moore
Let's face it. The NBA Draft is a crapshoot. There are obvious mistakes, which should be avoided. There are obvious reaches, which if they don't work out look terrible and if they do work out, earn management awards. You can have the top pick one year and net a Hall of Famer, and the next year you can have the top pick and net nothing more than a pick you're trying to unload a year later. "Always draft the big man" works, unless that big man is Hasheem Thabeet. "Best talent available" is a great ethos, unless you create a logjam on your team which frustrates all the players involved. And sometimes, there are just guys you need to be leery of before you say that name into the phone in Newark.
Here's a brief list of guys who could wind up great but also could have higher odds at busting. Fear factor is on a scale of one to five, with one being "sure-fire lock" and five being "you may wind up burning jerseys or your favorite GM in effigy."
Fear Factor: 3
When the tournament ended and it came time to analyze The Jimmer's NBA prospects, the talk was mostly about Fredette's diminutive frame. Players of his prototype do not tend to translate well. The college game is great, it's just dramatically different than the NBA and players who succeed with the kind of gunning Fredette did in college don't necessarily make the leap. Then, the scrutiny was so high you had a backlash like a rubber band snapping back. "Jimmer's just a great basketball player." "Anyone who can play ball like that in college can play in the NBA." It went on and on. Fredette and his people helped out by taking a bold and aggressive approach, gunning for Kemba Walker and Brandon Knight in workouts and impressing based on expectations. The key being "based on expectations." By exceeding the poor showing people expected, Fredette has gained traction to rise up the ranks. It's not about getting higher than Knight or Walker, it's just about getting as high as he can.
But the same elements are there that have always been there. The limited size, length, athleticism, the unfamiliarity with running an offense, the inability to launch without a conscience, they're all still there as concerns for how he'll adapt. But Fredette has college star power and that can blind. Maybe Fredette will smoothly transition to a new role and never environment. But the concerns should still be there. Sometimes removing context is a good thing.
Fear Factor: 4
Super-athletic foreign big comes out of nowhere, ramps up a ton of hype, then goes to workouts and .... wah-wah. Biyombo has talked about leading the league in blocks and rebounds. Bravado is excellent. But it can also belie an effort to gain a foothold on something other than ability. Biyombo brings great length and athleticism but no polish or offensive repertoire. So he's kind of the anti-Jimmer. But players in Biyombo's mold can either be a revelation or a colossal bust. Just for comparison's sake, the last player similar to Biyombo in terms of physical nature was Thabeet.
Good luck with that.
Fear Factor: 3
Similar concerns as Fredette, only magically shorter.
When Walker measured in at 6-1 vs. the 5-11 many scouts had him pegged at, the phrase "See, he's not short at all!" was used. This despite the fact that he's still short, he just plays and seems shorter than he actually is. Walker has a tremendous scoring ability, but defensively there are going to be questions. There have been plenty of players of diminutive stature to make it in the NBA and even become borderline stars. But few of them have been drafted at Walker's projected position or with his expectations. Walker was the college player of the year for a reason. He was also kept out of the top ten for most of the year until the talent stampeded out at the end.
Fear Factor: 5
Highly touted high school project clashes with established, respected coach which results in him not playing at all down the stretch, then somehow vaults up the rankings. We've seen this one before. Selby's performances at workouts early in the draft process at Impact in Las Vegas have helped land him back in the first round. But Selby showed little more than perimeter shooting during Kansas' season, and the fact he couldn't get along with Bill Self raises a number of flags. Selby could be the type of player who just landed in a bad situation for him, but he could also be a headcase without an all-around game.
Fear Factor: 5
Might not come over from Europe, questionable defensive ability, questionable rebounding effort, questionable basketball ability beyond size. Motiejunas has the whole bag of concerns in one Euro Center package. Stick away from this one.
Posted on: June 18, 2011 2:22 am
Edited on: June 18, 2011 10:00 pm
A look at five potential sleepers in the 2011 NBA Draft. Posted by Ben Golliver.
Ask any NBA GM and they will tell you that draftology is an "inexact science." Put more simply: "Hey, we mess up a lot." We've all seen enough draft failures over the years to have developed a spider sense for how guys slip through the cracks.
Some of the most common reasons: a player takes a nontraditional route to the league, a player stays in college too long and scouts nitpick him to death, a player appears not to have a clear position, a player excels at a small school but scouts doubt that his skills will translate, or a late-blooming international player doesn't appear on the radar until too soon before draft night.
As has been written about extensively virtually everywhere, this year's draft class is not a traditional class. The top end talent is very thin, the international contingent is fairly deep but filled with questions, there's not a quality American-born center projected to go in the first round and there are really only three point guards expected to turn into potential franchise-type players.
Even with the impact positions so weak and the star caliber talent so thin, there are some quality players that will likely be selected later -- perhaps much later -- than they should be.
Here's a look at five names, all of whom fit into one of the common categories of how guys that get overlooked that were mentioned above. The players listed below might not be falling like rocks past where they should be picked, but each deserves better than what he's seeing on mock drafts in the week leading up to Thursday's draft.
1. Jeremy Tyler
How often can we legitimately call one of the nation's top five prospects coming out of high school a sleeper? Not very often, but Tyler (pictured) is obviously not your typical top prospect. He redefined what "nontraditional route to the NBA" means when he left high school early to pursue a professional career in Israel and Japan. There's no question that his decision -- and the negative headlines that emerged during his professional career -- killed his draft stock in a major way.
Watching Tyler play in a pre-draft workout, as I did this week, one can only leave with the conclusion that he is a top-15 caliber player, if not better. He's very big, very strong, and blessed with good coordination and a solid feel around the basket. His reputation has him going late in the first round in most mock drafts and it's certainly possible that he could slip to the second round on draft night.
More than one evaluator called Tyler a "tempting" risk this week. Someone needs to go ahead and take the plunge.
2. Andrew Goudelock
Goudelock is almost the prototypical small-school diamond in the rough. College of Charleston isn't exactly Kentucky or North Carolina, but scoring is scoring and Goudelock has shown the ability to fill it up. He averaged more than 23 points a game this season and drew nice reviews for his ability to shoot the rock at the Portsmouth Invitational. He's projected as a second round pick and gets knocked for his tweener size because he's listed at 6-foot-3, 200 pounds while doing more scoring (18.9 shots per game) than passing (4.2 assists) at the collegiate level.
Remember: scoring off the bench is one of those must-have roles for contenders, and perfect positional size and fit simply aren't all that important in this niche. Ask J.J. Barea. Ask the Chicago Bulls, who would have sacrificed Carlos Boozer for anyone at any height and weight who could have scored consistently off their bench against the Miami Heat.
There are other players in this draft that fit this bill -- Josh Selby comes to mind -- but Goudelock is likely to dive fairly deep because of his lack of name recognition. Whoever plucks him out of the second round stands to be rewarded nicely.
3. Kyle Singler
You don't need a crystal ball to see Kyle Singler's future. He will be a solid rotation player on a perennial playoff contender, stepping in off the bench to play either forward position. He will make smart plays, go hard on both ends of the court, constantly have television announcers say he's playing over his head, and will knock down the open shot.
One of the best competitors in this draft, Singler gets overlooked this year for two obvious reasons: he stayed at Duke for longer than he probably should have and isn't an elite athlete. Earlier in his career, Singler had lottery buzz; he now expects to go in the mid-to-late first round and, if things don't break right, he could even find himself landing in the early second. There are certain to be multiple flameouts selected before him.
In a draft with a shallow star pool, why not take a solid, low-risk player who is wholly devoted to playing the game the right way?
4. Jordan Hamilton
Hamilton's path to the NBA wasn't as rocky as Tyler's, but it wasn't pretty either.
He was forced to sit out his senior year of high school because of eligibility issues after working to get ranked in the top 10 nationally. He then spent two years at Texas, averaging 18.6 points in his sophomore year after not making the impact that was expected in his first season. A classic wing scorer with good size, Hamilton showed he could carry the load on offense at the college level and should be able to be a nice complementary scorer in the pro game.
Aside from his red-flag route to the NBA, Hamilton also has a ways to go on defense. Nevertheless, this was a highly-touted scorer who was able to find his groove despite a layoff from basketball and and adjustment period on a deep college team. Projecting five years down the road, it's difficult to imagine Hamilton inot filling it up for someone and creating highlights along the way. His stock has bounced around the second half of the draft a bit. On talent, he should be go in the mid-first, if not earlier. If he slips much past that, he's a full blown sleeper by this year's definition.
5. Bismack Biyombo
Sure, we don't often consider projected lottery picks to be sleepers. Biyombo is exceptional in so many other ways, though, that we should make another exception here.
If Biyombo had a longer resume or had handled his pre-draft run-up better, he is a player who should be talked about as a top five selection. Biyombo is arguably the best defensive prospect in the draft. His combination of absurd length, ability to contest shots intelligently, his ability to play one-on-one in the post and roam as an active help side defender, and his ferocious desire for cleaning the glass make him elite on that end of the floor. With that package, who cares about his out of nowhere backstory (raised in the Democratic Republic of Congo, limited professional career in Spain).
Unfortunately, he's now working to prevent a draft day slide after tanking a workout in Europe and laying low for almost the entire pre-draft process. Biyombo is now projected outside of the top 10 and potentially outside of the lottery, which would be borderline criminal given his upside and physical tools.
There's no question that it will take guts to draft him given the red flags about his age (he could be much older than he says he is) and his meteoric rise to the first round following the 2011 Nike Hoop Summit. But this is a player about whom people will almost certainly look back in five years and say, "how in the heck did they pass on that guy in that draft?"
Posted on: June 17, 2011 3:32 pm
Edited on: June 17, 2011 3:36 pm
Posted by Royce Young
Sort of the great mystery in this year's draft class is the 6-9 forward from the Congo, Bismack Biyombo. His workouts have been so-so, but the talent is clearly there, which makes him one of the most intriguing prospects in the draft.
The natural current comparison is to that of the Thunder's Serge Ibaka, but many see Biyombo as an enforcer around the rim that will impact games like Ben Wallace did during the Pistons' title run.
Currently, our mock draft experts see Biyombo going somewhere between as high as No. 4 overall to the Cavs, to the last lottery pick at 14 to the Rockets.
Wherever he goes, most see Biyombo as a raw NBA talent that should be able to impact games defensively immeditately. It's just a matter of whether or not he's got any offensive upside.
Biyombo though, has set the bar high for himself. Very high. Via NBA.com:
Biyombo said he really loves the way Kevin Love rebounds and has studied his style closely. They have a similar frame as they aren't giants, but Biyombo has an edge in athleticism.
But will he lead the NBA in blocks? In rebounding? I hadn't heard, but is Dwight Howard retiring or something? Hard not to like the confidence of the young man though. Why not believe that you'll have that sort of impact in the league? What's the point of even competing if you don't think you can come in and be great?
Biyombo might need a little time, but he's got his mind set to leading the league in blocks and rebounds. Are you listening, lottery teams?