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Bismack Biyombo has only so-so workout in front of scouts

As I said in the Bismack Biyombo Draft Dreams post, I can certainly appreciate the passion Pistons fans are showing in favor of drafting the big man. It’s been a long time since the Pistons have had a defensive identity, and Biyombo is big, athletic and imposing at that end of the floor. But I also worry that that excitement may cause some to also overlook the fact that Biyombo is extremely raw and has little high-level experience, meaning it could take whichever team that drafts him some time to figure out what they have.

Biyombo had a workout in front of about 50 NBA scouts over the weekend (including, reportedly, Pistons representatives). Results were mixed. Here’s Scott Howard Cooper from NBA.com:

The Biyombo workout was interesting as a rare public look at a prospect who has not played in months, after splitting with his team in Spain, and was barely known in the United States even when he was in a lineup. It just wasn’t good. The entire premise was a bad idea. Biyombo, a power forward from the Republic of Congo, is a stud athlete who blocks shots and rebounds. That would have come out in a game, where he could light up the gym by flying around the rim and overpowering opponents. In one-on-none drills, NBA evaluators got to observe bad hands and an offensive game that everyone agrees will be a non-factor in the league, all the way to a bad showing at the line.

But Bradley Thayer of DraftExpress didn’t make things sound quite as grim. Here was his take:

One NBA exec put it best: “If you liked Biyombo going into today you are going to set aside the weaknesses he showed and realize that setting couldn’t have been any worse for him. The guy is not a jump-shooter, and no one is going to draft him to be one. You need to see through that. But if you came in here with question marks about him you surely came away with plenty more things to worry about. All in all, people who liked him will continue to, and those who don’t will as well.”

So … inconclusive I guess? I think it’s a safe bet that anyone available when the Pistons pick at No. 8 will have a fair number of drawbacks to match his potential. Biyombo may very well fit what the Pistons want because his strengths seem to be more at the defensive end while others who might be available in that range are possibly more offensively skilled than Biyombo. But the so-so performance in the workout is a good lesson for fans who might be expecting a tad too much. Biyombo is possibly going to be a fine player in this league, but making an immediate impact for a Pistons team in need of an immediate impact could be out of the question.

(Hat-tip, Jonathan Santiago of Cowbell Kingdom)

19 Comments

  • Jun 13, 20111:21 pm
    by DETROIT!!!

    Reply

    GOOD!!!!  Hopefully this drops him to detroit in the draft….with ben wallace mentoring this kid, he could be a dominant defensive force for years to come

  • Jun 13, 20111:50 pm
    by Chris

    Reply

    I agree with Detroit!!!.  Ben Wallace could do wonders for this guy.  My question is more about what we can measure about him.  Did they measure him in his socks?  How strong is he?  What is his vertical leap? 
    Patrick you are right Detroit would not be drafting Biyombo with the intent of focusing the offense around him.  If they could get an individual workout with Biyombo I would want to see how he and Greg Monroe get along, I’d like to see if there is chemistry there.  If Biyombo has the range and leg strength I have no problems drafting the kid knowing that his primary offensive weapons are going to be dive cuts and put backs.  If Monroe misses his hook from the block I’d want an athletic guy crashing the boards, or better yet making a great dive cut for a Monroe feed.  While I’d like him to develop more of an offensive game than Big Ben had, I understand that he is young with plenty of holes in his game.
    Honestly I don’t see anyone in this draft pulling Detroit out of the lottery next year.  We’re going to be here for a little bit, the question is really does Biyombo look like he is going to develop better than all of the other prospects Detroit has with the 8th pick. 

    • Jun 13, 20112:10 pm
      by RandomGuy313

      Reply

      @Chris: Here is video of Bismack one-on-one http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Bismack-Biyombo-5902/.

      • Jun 13, 20114:07 pm
        by Chris

        Reply

        Honestly nothing in there discourages me that much.  He would not be the first player in the league to come in without a jumpshot. 

        Things that just out at me:

        “…He plays the game with incredible emotion (think Joakim Noah or Kevin Garnett),…”
        “He works extremely hard to get deep position in the paint and will call for the ball aggressively…”
        “…Biyombo does a good job in man-to-man settings as well. He shows surprisingly strong fundamentals and is active in talking to his teammates.”

        It did not take Ben Wallace years to become Ben Wallace, it took a team (Detroit) to figure out how to use him best.  You can’t really teach passion and that was something that this years team lacked.  Monroe, for all of his skill, is never going to be described as “fiery” or “emotional”.  This has it’s pluses, but it is good to have a player with those traits, it also gives the front court two very contrasting looks which in my mind is a good thing. 

        Knowing that anyone that anyone detroit gets with this pick will have his flaws, I am not going to be upset if biyombo falls to us.  I’m not going to be upset if detroit decides not to go that route as well because this draft class is lacking.  All in all I’d really try to trade this pick.

  • Jun 13, 20111:54 pm
    by Quick Darshan

    Reply

    I worry more about Kanter.  Apparently his high school footage was less then inspiring and led draftexpress to question his motor (his offensive skills still impressive though).

    Of the three, I feel mose comfortable with Valunciunas because he’s a legit 7 footer that shoots 80% from the free throw line.  That’s rare in itself.

  • Jun 13, 20112:09 pm
    by RandomGuy313

    Reply

    Looking at another angle..can JoeD afford to draft Biyombo? Many people see him as a Ben Wallace clone or Serge Ibaka. Lest we forget that it took 5 years and two teams for Ben Wallace to get here. Serge has taken steps to be placed in the rotation after his rookie campaign however he is still prone to fouling.
     
    Can JoeD wait for Biyombo to be Ben Wallace and still keep his job? I don’t think so and hence the reason I don’t think Biyombo will be selected by the Pistons

  • Jun 13, 20112:15 pm
    by vic

    Reply

    you can look at Dirk in 2006, and Dirk in 2011 to see that basketball is a team game. its chess with athletes. Its not about just putting the best scorers together on one team.

    Dirk is a champion because of Tyson Chandler.
    I would love for Biyombo to fill that role for the Pistons. (Blocks and Dunks, and Rebounds).
    You need high-level competitors in each role… Biyombo is smart, communicates well on defense, PLUS he already produces defensively. Defensively, he is a contributor from Day 1. 

    Get Biyombo! Especially considering that we have been doing the opposite for the past 3 years… Joe going back to valuing defensive players would make a better team, thereby securing his job, not endangering it.

  • Jun 13, 20112:23 pm
    by vic

    Reply

    also considering that post defense was our number 1 weakness last year…

    remember how many powerforwards and centers had their best games of the year against the Pistons last year… i do.

    that was our number one problem, even worse than the coaching.

    • Jun 13, 20112:41 pm
      by RandomGuy313

      Reply

      @vic I agree that post defense is a concern, but I cannot agree that Biyombo would contribute significantly. Shot blocking is one thing but understanding positioning is more critical and that is where he will struggle. He will more than likely be in foul trouble in his limited minutes.
       
      Gone are the days where you can have a defender roam and provide help side defense. Ben Wallace is still an asset because he knows positioning to get the centers and power forwards in the league out of their sweet spots and make them work for their buckets.

      • Jun 13, 20113:58 pm
        by jprime18

        Reply

        From the small amount of tape I’ve seen, Biyombo is actually pretty good defender one on one. I said it before, he’s a boom or bust pick. Even if he does boom, we’re in the lottery next year. Next year’s draft is deep and we might be able to finish our future line up in that.

        Is Biyomobo worth the gamble? That’s up to Joe. This is a weak draft class anyway, so I’m not gonna be too mad if our #8 busts. I’m really interested to see Kawhi Leonard go to us too. Gores is giving joe 3 years, let’s see what he can do.

  • Jun 13, 20112:33 pm
    by gordbrown

    Reply

    People look at Biyombo and see Ben Wallace. I look at him and see Jason Maxiell. We already have one of those. And he is taking minutes away from better players already. Why would we want another one of those, only more raw and less able to help in the short term?

    • Jun 13, 20112:53 pm
      by Quick Darshan

      Reply

      Biyombo is at least 3″ taller and has a 7’6″ wingspan.

    • Jun 13, 20113:18 pm
      by Sean

      Reply

      Maxiell’s problem is that he has never been a good enough rebounder to become a true fixture of a rotation. I don’t know anybody that thinks Biyombo won’t be a quality rebounder in the big-boy league.

  • Jun 13, 20114:36 pm
    by brgulker

    Reply

    You need to see through that. But if you came in here with question marks about him you surely came away with plenty more things to worry about. All in all, people who liked him will continue to, and those who don’t will as well.”


    This is one of the most disconcerting things about people who make decisions in the NBA — very rarely does evidence change perception.

    I’m sorry, but if Biyombo can’t make 50% of his shots from 10 feet away while unguarded (or by someone playing token defense at best), that is a HUGE concern

  • Jun 13, 20115:57 pm
    by neutes

    Reply

    I’m much less concerned with his ability to put the ball in the basket than I am with his ability to hold onto the ball and make sound decisions with it once it’s in his hands. If he can’t shoot fine, but if he thinks he can that’s not very good. At some point he’s going to end up with the ball in his hands and he’s going to have to find a way to get rid of it without handing it to the other team.

  • Jun 13, 20117:16 pm
    by detroitpcb

    Reply

    I expect that the kid from Texas will be higher in the second tier of big men the Pistons consider. There are just too many negatives with Biyombo. Can’t shoot, bad hands, can’t hit free throws, may be a few years older than given age.
    Personally i would have to pass on him – but of course i have never seen him live and only a few fragments of tape.

  • Jun 13, 20118:01 pm
    by balooga999

    Reply

    this should come as no surprise. looking at tape and scouting reports you would think he is another Maxiell. I guess the “highlights” has many piston fans smitten with him–surprising as many of the same fans have been adamant on the team staying away from a Euro big man. Might be a minority but hoping somehow, someway, Valanciunas falls to 8.
     

  • In the grand scheme of things you actually get an A just for effort. For right now I shall yield to your point.

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