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Detroit Pistons Draft Dreams: Bismack Biyombo

A relatively unknown international big man has captured the hearts and minds of Pistons fans. For the last two weeks, I’ve been bombarded with comments and Tweets from people who want to see me feature Bismack Biyombo in Draft Dreams. The guy has a lot of buzz right now because he showed out at the Nike Hoops Summit, and Pistons fans were clearly paying attention. Draft Dreams is for the people, so I’ll stop denying the people what they want. Here’s your Biyombo profile.


Measurables: 6-foot-9, 240 pounds, F/C from Congo

Key stats: 6.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.3 blocks per game while shooting 55 percent from the field in the Spanish League

Projected: Lottery

How would he help the Pistons?

Biyombo’s combination of age (he’ll be only 19 when drafted), size (6-foot-9/240 and still growing) and physical attributes (7-foot-7 wingspan) make him perhaps the most intriguing prospect in this draft. He played all over Europe and the Middle East trying to make a name for himself, eventually earning an invite to the famed Nike Hoops Summit. He became the biggest star of the tournament, registerting a the first triple double in tournament history with 12 points, 11 rebounds and 10 blocked shots.

Biyombo has a NBA build already at his young age. He’s possibly the most natural shot blocker in the draft, something the Pistons are clearly deficient in. And pairing Greg Monroe next to a young, talented, defensive-minded center would give the Pistons arguably the most promising young frontcourt in the league.

How wouldn’t he help the Pistons?

Biyombo is certainly a bit of a risk. Before the Nike Hoops Summit, many scouts barely knew who he was, if they even knew him at all (NBADraft.net doesn’t even have him in their database as of my writing this). He has less than two years of professional basketball experience overseas. He also is under contract with his team in Spain, so even though he wants to play in the NBA, there’s no guarantee that he’ll join the team that drafts him for next season. Here’s what he told DraftExpress:

“The lockout is not worrying me,” Biyombo told us. “If there is a lockout, I can continue to play in Spain. I want to make a mark before I leave Spain. When I decided to enter the draft I spoke to my agent Igor [Crespo], and I said, ‘Igor, before I leave Spain, I want to put my name on the basketball court. So when I leave Spain my name will be remembered the right way.’ About the NBA, I still have time to be on the floor, still have time to work, still have time to make myself better.”

I respect the maturity, but he also sounds like a player who is in no rush to leave Spain before he’s comfortable. Maybe he’s talented enough to be worth waiting for if he decides to stay in Europe, but the Pistons also need immediate help through the draft if they are going to improve next season.

What are others saying?

From Fox Sports:

He certainly has a long way to go offensively, but Biyombo’s freakish athleticism and NBA body immediately catch your eye. He’s only been playing organized basketball for five or six years, but he seems to have a feel for the game and is certainly a presence on the block.

From ESPN:

Over the course of the last month or so he’s become one of the hottest names in the NBA draft, but only a handful of scouts and GMs had a good handle on who he was. Seeing him playing against future NBA lottery picks certainly helped.And they weren’t disappointed. Biyombo wowed all week with his toughness, athleticism, shot-blocking abilities, leadership and motor. He was a defensive powerhouse with a Ben Wallace-esque body and a crazy 7-foot-7 wingspan.

From SB Nation:

Biyombo, like most of the game’s participants, is listed at 18 years old, but he’s played professionally in Spain for two seasons, has a massive, sculpted NBA-ready body right now and looked like a man among boys all week, drawing speculation from scouts, fans and media alike about whether he is older than he lets on. Biyombo brushed off the age question in an interview with SI.com.

“I don’t care how old he is, Biyombo can play NBA-caliber defense right now,” one NBA talent evaluator said on Sunday.

That was the general consensus. Biyombo is ready now, his stock solidified as a 2011 first round pick, with the immediate buzz in the building included the NBA’s L-word: Lottery.



  • Apr 13, 201110:51 am
    by Tom Y.


    I read that bit about staying in Spain before and only thought of it as a plus (that he could keep playing and improving if there was a lockout). Now I can also see how he may hesitate about coming… though my impression is he’s excited about playing in the NBA and could easily be swayed into coming here… he has a simple 1 million euro buyout clause which is something that can probably be worked out, possibly splitting it between him and the team that picks him (if he agrees to do that he may go higher and make more, though that kind of bargaining would probably only happen after he’s picked).

    • Apr 13, 201110:56 am
      by Patrick Hayes


      With all of the guys who are deciding to stay in school, Perry Jones being the latest one, I have a feeling Biyombo might move out of the Pistons range. I hope not, but a thin draft is getting thinner.

      But I do agree with you — I think it’s likely he won’t go back to Spain if there isn’t a long lockout. The downside, though, is that if he does go, it gives scouts more time to pick him apart. He really hasn’t played much organized basketball, and he’s hot right now because of the Hoops Summit. Playing against pro competition longer — and Spain is one of the top leagues in Europe — might show some flaws in his game that haven’t been spotted yet.

      • Apr 13, 20113:21 pm
        by Tom Y.


        I think why we may have a good chance of getting him at 7 is the kings are ahead of us, and they already have a stable of big men. I doubt Utah would take him either. But yeah, lets hope nobody else drops out…

  • Apr 13, 201111:09 am
    by Matt


    This is going to be such a weak draft that there is no solid feel on who could be available at 7 or 8. That said, the 2012 draft has the potential to be the best in recent memory. (Assuming that the age to enter the NBA is not raised to 20 in the new CBA) That said, the Pistons aren’t going anywhere with the team as constructed, nor with anyone they pick up in the draft. I say if available select Biyombo, or another project like Euro and have them stay over seas until the 2012 season. Then we bring in to legit starters from the ’11 and’12 drafts and really make a run. This is not a popular opinion I am sure, but I think the strongest chance for Detroit to get back to respectability. One more ruff season to watch, and we could turn the corner. I watched the Mc D’s game and the hoop summit, I think Brad Beal, Mike Gilchrist, Anthony Davis all have a legit chance to be stars in the league, not to mention next year should feature Sullinger, Barnes, and Perry Jones.

    • Apr 13, 20111:04 pm
      by neutes


      I’m with you here. It’s not like the Pistons are going anywhere fast. There are too many bad contracts and the likelyhood they all get swapped for expirings or productive players is pretty slim. Waiting a year, waiting out Rip’s deal, sucking again and getting another high pick isn’t the worst thing that could happen. Trading Rip with next year’s pick would put the fork in that whole plan though.

  • Apr 13, 201111:58 am
    by Joe


    It’s worth noting that he does have a NBADraft.net profile, but they have his name listed as Biyambo, with an “a”
    In their most recent Mock, he was slated at about #50

  • Apr 13, 201112:02 pm
    by gmehl1977


    I love the way Biyombo plays. From the little footage that there is of him he seems like the second coming of Ben Wallace. He is exactly the kind of player that needs to be inserted next to Monroe. With a healthy Jeberko back and someone like this kid roaming the paint we would be well on our way back to pistons basketball. I really liked the part in his interview where he talks about how defense is what he loves about the game. He sounds like he knows his role and maybe he could even inspire CV. OK scratch that last comment

  • Apr 14, 201112:31 am
    by detroitpcb


    i saw his clips from the Nike and he was impressive. I would be fine with taking him and letting him play in Spain another year. he seems like exactly the type of physical shotblocking presence the Pistons need.

  • Apr 16, 20113:00 am
    by Cliff


    I’m not too sure about this guy… in the draft I would much prefer enes kanter who has much more offensive firepower, which is what we need. But tbh I’d much rather obtain a big guy through free agency i.e. getting a guy like Tyson Chandler or Randolph (who seems to be a long shot now) and get a good PG from the draft instead.

  • Apr 17, 201112:32 pm
    by sop


    Sure he’s project and Kanter would be a better pick, but in this draft he might be worth the risk. What would the Pistons be passing on if they took him 7th? Not much, especially in the way of big men.
    The questions that workouts would hopefully answer is does he have more upside than Jan Vesely and will he be easier to bring over than Jonas Valanciunas.

    • Apr 20, 20118:04 pm
      by The Boourns


      I’m not sure what it is about Kanter that makes him a “better prospect.” He hasn’t played competitive basketball in the past year because the NCAA removed his amateur status due to his play in Europe. Additionally, Draft Express has him playing in a total of 4 games where he averaged 2 points, 1.5 rebounds, and 0 blocks in 7.8 minutes per game.
      Enes Kanter has been on scouts’ radars for far longer than Biyombo simply because he was a highly touted Euro big who intended on playing in the NCAA instead of staying the course and continuing to compete at a professional level in Europe.
      While Biyombo’s resume isn’t very extensive with only 15 or so games played, thats far more gameplay than what Kanter has shown to date. So I don’t think you can claim that Kanter is likely the better prospect at this point.

  • May 18, 20115:26 pm
    by Geoff


  • May 18, 20115:29 pm
    by Geoff


    I’m sold on this guy from what I’ve seen/heard. Whats the point of taking a Tristan Thompson or yet another above avg role player? We have too many of these ‘safe’ picks who arnt major impacts. Now is time to take the risk. This guy is just huge and a great athlete. 6’9 listing, but height is so overrated. He has a 9’3 standing reach, thats longer than most 7 footers. If you want one guy past Kyrie who has a chance to be a franchise caliber game changer, Biyumbo is it, no one else is… maybe Enes Kanter, but I dont think his ceiling is that high. Take Biyumbo, swallow your pride if he’s a flop. Its worth it.

  • May 30, 201111:00 pm
    by jj


    ” If you want one guy past Kyrie who has a chance to be a franchise caliber game changer, Biyumbo is it, no one else is…”
    What??? His best case scenario is Ibaka, who’s great but hardly a ‘franchise caliber game changer.’ Biyombo could be a terrific helpside shotblocker and a terrific energy guy but he has zero offensive game (unlike Ibaka, who has a nice 12-5 ft shot), and he’s not a world-class rebounder either.
    I’m actually pretty high on Biyombo, but for him, ‘high-reward’ doesn’t mean ‘franchise player,’ it means potential Defensive POY who’s a minor liability on offense.

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