Bismack Biyombo: The Biggest Mystery Of The Draft

He took the world by storm at the World Hoops Summit, impressing with his length and athleticism. He has very little offensive skills, but his defensive skills and confidence in his abilities seem to more than make up for it.

Bismack Biyombo (that is pronounced BIS-mark) is the great mystery of the NBA Draft. He impressed with 12 points, 11 rebounds and 10 blocks at the Nike World Hoops Summit in April, drawing comparisons to Ben Wallace and Dennis Rodman in the process. His name was immediately high on just about every draft board. Then some poor workouts seemed to have him drop down draft boards.

You look at any mock draft and Biyombo’s name might be all over the place. has him going 21st to Portland and has him going 11th to the Warriors. Every other mock draft has him going anywhere between, and some may have him going higher if you believe a promise is a promise at the Draft.

He is a truly intriguing prospect because of the way he can contest shots and play defensively. But he is so limited offensively, that it might scare teams away. It certainly seemed to as he worked out for teams in Europe and simply struggled to put the ball in the basket. But there is also no denying his defensive potential if he can hang athletically with the post players of the NBA.

In his lone year playing for Baloncesto Fuenlabrada of the Spanish ACB league, he averaged 6.4 points per game, 5.1 rebounds per game and 2.3 blocks per game in 17.0 minutes per game this season. That translates to 11.9 rebounds and 5.4 blocks per 40 minutes.

Biyombo too seems very comfortable in being a defensive ace too. He told Scott Howard-Cooper of that he admires Kevin Love and his ability to rebound and also has the ambition of leading the NBA in rebounds and blocks.

One thing Biyombo does not lack is confidence.


“In the NBA, I’m sure that I can block a lot of shots, more than I do in the ACB,” Biyombo told Howard-Cooper. “I can get a lot of rebounds than I do here in the ACB. Why? The reason is, in the NBA there is a lot of one-on-one. A lot of times I watch games, they’re trying to force stuff. They’re trying to go just one-on-one and get the basket. I can say for myself the best block shots are not with your man. It’s when you’re going to help someone.”

Biyombo has experience working against him though. He played less than a year in Spain professionally — just 14 games — and has not played the kind of big man competition that he might in the NBA. It is one thing to win a rebounding battle against the best high school players in the country at the World Hoops Summit. It is another to go up against Kevin Love, Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum for those same rebounds and blocked shots.

And while everyone is focusing on his ability to rebound and block shots, nobody has said much about his post defense and how he would do in the one-on-one situations he sees more of in the NBA.

His talent though will get him picked in the lottery. And his energy will likely enable him to find a spot in the NBA. But will he be all that he promises to be?

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About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily