Skip to content

NBA Draft profile: Boom or bust is named Biyombo

Jun 18, 2011, 8:28 AM EDT

bismack biyombo Getty Images

It feels all or nothing. No player in this draft has the pure boom-or-bust potential of Bismack Biyombo. No player has more fans who love him, no one has more detractors.

He could be an All-Star, a dominant big man in this league. There is that much in him. But he could turn out to be a player glued to the bench, never able to utilize all that athleticism. He is that raw.

In a deeper draft, he is a worthwhile risk pick around 20. But that is not that this draft. Someone is going to take a risk around 10 and that could be a massive steal. Or a bust. And we will not know for five years.

Why take him? As always with Biyombo, the starting place is his measurements — 6’8” but with a downright freakish 7’6” wingspan. He can jump out of the building. He is strong and chiseled — he passes the eye test easily. He looks like an NBA player.

After that all the questions come up. His offense is raw, in the real sense of the word. Biyombo failed to impress at the adidas Eurocamp. Actually, that is an understatement. Words like disaster were thrown around as he missed shot after shot (0-5 on turnaround jumpers in the lane). But he also showed off all the athleticism people expected. He is the definition of project.

He comes out as the leading shot blocker in the Spanish ABC league (considered the second best league in the world). He also was an impressive rebounder and got to the line a lot. Basically, if the category was about athleticism and hustle, Biyombo looked impressive. Any category that was about skill… well, tougher sell. He is raw and needs a lot of work. Right now he is an unpolished Joel Anthony.

The other question — how old is he? Officially he is 18 years old, but there are countless scouts with doubts about that. A lot of people think he is actually in his early 20s. Coming out of the Republic of the Congo, you can just make your own guess.

Biyombo has a world of talent and can come into the NBA as a backup big and have some impact on defense and on the boards. But as for offense, he has to be on a team where the point guard creates easy offense for the bigs (like Steve Nash does in Phoenix). He may well grow into a good NBA player — he has the physical tools to be great, but that may be too much to ask — but fans will have to be patient with him. There will be flashes of what can be, the question is how will he develop.

Boom or bust. We don’t know.

What we do know is that he will go in the lottery. NBC/RotoWorld’s Steve Alexander has him going No. 11 to Golden State, as does DraftExpress and Chad Ford at ESPN.

  1. bmart61 - Jun 18, 2011 at 10:15 AM

    Bust because the last defense only guy with a “raw” offensive game was Thabeet and look how he turned out. Hopefully he goes to a team like the Thunder and they can develop him like they did Ibaka. However, he won’t last that long and a team that takes him early can’t count on much in year one.

  2. cosanostra71 - Jun 18, 2011 at 11:12 AM

    It’s ACB not ABC lol…

    but I think I see more Saer Sene in Biyombo than Serge Ibaka…

  3. zackd2 - Jun 18, 2011 at 2:03 PM

    Very excited for this guy, someone needs to repace Ben Wallace air balls at the free throw line

  4. zblott - Jun 18, 2011 at 2:45 PM

    It’s not just that he lead the ACB league in blocks, it’s that he did in 17 minutes per game. With virtually no experience being around real coaches or players until 6 months ago, he lead the ACB in blocks in limited minutes, had great rebounding numbers (5.1 rpg in 17 mpg), and then did both at an exceptionally high level in the Hoop Summit against the US players who are expected to make 2012 the best draft in years. He’ll only be a bust if teams try to incorporate his turnaround jumpers in the lane.

    He’s more about him and every other International player who will go in the first round next week:

  5. lunasceiling - Jun 18, 2011 at 3:54 PM

    Seems top me like this guy is capable of being a role player right now, a guy good for a few minutes a game of intense defense. Those minutes, which would be reasonably plentiful on some of the lottery teams, would give him a chance to start adding aspects to his game. In this draft, he seems like a risk worth taking.

  6. muhangis - Jun 19, 2011 at 1:55 AM

    to cosanostra’s comment above:

    Saer Sene actually has good #’s for the mins he was given in the NBA. I don’t know why he’s not playing in the pro’s anymore, cause he truly is a good and exceptionally talented player. Seems to me like he was stuck in a bad situation, and never given consistent minutes. But that said…. Biyombo is gonna be waay more successful and better!

    The only thing that concern’s me with him (besides his scoring) is the lack to verify his age! It makes a very huge difference in the draft, whether he’s 18 or he’s 22, or whatever, just look at Yi Jianlian. Almost safe to say that guy is a bust now!

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. D. Rose (2650)
  2. K. Irving (2075)
  3. A. Davis (1737)
  4. L. James (1737)
  5. K. Bryant (1662)