Bismack Biyombo may already have all the shooting range he's ever going to need.

Scouting the Draft: Bismack Biyombo

This year’s international man of mystery is Bismack Biyombo, who broke into ACB side Fuenlabrada’s senior team in January but has quickly shown an NBA body with rare athletic potential.  His highly suspect individual game has seen his draft stock plummet, to the point that the former top-five candidate may now be available at 17.  Needing to add some interior muscle, the Knicks may be hard-pressed to pass him up in that spot.

Obviously, I was sold after hearing the words “Bismack” and “Biyombo.”  Here now are ten reasons, of varying relevance, why Bismack Biyombo absolutely should not fall past 17.

  1. It’s very rare to root for a player named “B-Smack,” and it’s even rarer to know exactly how he got that nickname.
  2. Are you tired of having the Mike D’Antoni conversation?  The one where you start talking Knicks with someone who says, “Hey buddy, that Mike D’Antoni, he doesn’t even care about defense!” and then you have to explain to him that it isn’t possible to get a head coaching job with two different teams without caring about defense?  Are you tired of insisting that, if Biyombo pans out, he’ll be a post defender the likes of which D’Antoni has never had as a head coach in either New York or Phoenix?  Yeah, I’m tired too.  So let’s take a step towards never having this conversation again.
  3. If you thought having Mozgov was hilarious…um, yeah.  ‘Nuff sed.
  4. The sheer measurements are astrounding.  Via DraftExpress: “Any scouting report must start with Biyombo’s dimensions, which are downright freakish. He measured a 7-7 wingspan (which would rank fifth longest in our expansive database) at the Nike Hoop Summit, despite standing just 6-7 ¾ without shoes. No player of record has ever measured a wingspan that is nearly 12 inches longer than his actual height—the closest is Jason Maxiell, who is 6-5 without shoes with a 7-3 ¼ wingspan. He also sports a chiseled 243-pound frame (4.8% body fat) that he should have no problem putting additional weight onto.”  Well, then.
  5. Biyombo is one of the few draftees of the past seven years not to give the idiotic, “I want to play for Mike D’Antoni because I know he lets his players do whatever they want,” interview that will one day send me on a three-state killing spree.
  6. Around this time next year, we’ll be treated to footage of Biyombo visiting his native Congo, replete with the obligatory yet always heartwarming shot of a few dozen children running out to meet him, gawking at him with identical, “There’s no effing way that guy grew up here,” looks.
  7. The age questions surrounding Biyombo should be of less concern to the Knicks than to other clubs.  Look, if it turns out Biyombo is pulling a Danny Almonte, we probably won’t find out for years.  By then, Biyombo will have either: a) played himself into an asset for a trade, b) become such a force – and made the Knicks such a force by proxy – that no one will care, or c) sucked so fiercely that it wouldn’t matter what age he is.  The point is, we’re not going to be sitting here five years from now wishing he was the age he said he was.
  8. Biyombo’s workouts have not been impressive – he’s a terrible foul shooter and has no individual offensive game to speak of, in the post or otherwise – but they obfuscate the fact that no team drafting him will ask him to create anything himself.  Despite having no jump shot, Biyombo shot a solid percentage from the field (56%) and his rebounding numbers, among the tops in Spain, indicate he’ll get his share of points just by cleaning up the garbage.  His strength is obvious, and he has the size and length that he won’t get crowded out when trying to finish from underneath – this isn’t going to be another Jared Jeffries/Big Baby Davis/Chairman Yi situation.
  9. Biyombo only joined Fuenlabrada’s senior team in January, and was polished enough on defense to lead the ACB in blocks per minute.  The kid is ready to go, at least on one end.
  10. Let’s face it: all these guys are similarly talented, and the biggest variable for most of them is how well they’ll adapt to a new environment, and how hard they’ll work to excel.  Biyombo has already spent more than four years playing abroad, two of them professionally – he understands the lifestyle of being on the road and the rigors of constant travel.  As for his work ethic, I would think he’d be better adjusted than your average college kid simply because he knows what it’s like to crack a professional rotation.  Here’s his youth coach, Mario Palma, whose words I find as hilarious as I do encouraging: “He is a humble and fantastic young boy.  He is not like other boys who disrespect and disregard the hard work.”

Rumors have been flying about the Knicks’ looking to trade up or acquire a second pick.  We’ll judge those on a case by case basis, but as far as the 17th pick is concerned, it would take a precipitous fall from another prospect to keep me from taking Biyombo.  His stock has been falling, but not with me – I’m on board.  Sign me up for Bismack Biyombo, and have my Biyombo jersey shipped ASAP.

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