Every summer, the NBA Draft brings a bit of hope and intrigue to each NBA team, particularly to those selecting in the lottery. Every summer, NBA hopefuls hire agents, spend weeks flying across the country to work out for teams, and sit and pray their name is called on draft day. And every summer, for a few weeks, the NBA world is buzzing about the overused words "potential," "ceiling" and/or "bust."
However, there is no player in recent memory who has had as much curiosity surrounding himself than the mysterious Congolese player who may or may not be the age he says he is. This player is Bismack Biyombo. He's one of the most physically intriguing players in this draft class due to his immense potential to be one of the league's premier defenders, yet his raw offensive abilities leave teams puzzled.
Read on to learn more about the enigmatic Biyombo.
First off, let's get to know Mr. Bismack Biyombo:
Most sites have Biyombo going anywhere from as high as 8th and as low as 19th. However, in order to prove just how all over the board the internet's opinion of Bismack Biyombo is, here are the spots various mock draft sites have the Congolese player going:
Due to some lackluster workouts in Treviso, Italy, Biyombo's draft stock has suffered a bit. One anonymous GM who was present for to watch the exciting young prospect play stated, "Bismack Biyombo just played a game of one-on-none ... and he lost."
Because of this recent slip in his meteoric rise, Biyombo has decided to come to the States and work out for a few teams, including the New York Knicks and Detroit Pistons, according to Chad Ford's Twitter account.
Biyombo was, once upon a time, the talk of the draft, with a few mock draft sites stating their claims for him going in the top 5, comparing him to fellow countryman Serge Ibaka. However, since the earlier reports, the NBA media world has changed their tune on Biyombo, which is not necessarily a bad thing. After having read multiple interviews with the young player, it is clear that he is not Serge Ibaka 2.0. He's not the next Dikembe Mutombo. He's not the next Michael Olowokandi or Mouhamed Sene.
He is, without a doubt, Bismack Biyombo. A player looking to make a name for himself.
What sets Biyombo apart from the rest of his competition is not his incredible 7'6" wingspan, his triple double in the Nike Hoops Summit last month (where he posted 12 points, 11 rebounds and an astounding 10 blocks), or his meteoric rise to the top. What sets Bismack Biyombo apart from his competition (and his comparisons) is the sheer amount of intelligence the young man possesses.
Jonathan Givony, editor of DraftExpress.com, recently posted a series of tweets about Bismack Biyombo and why teams should think twice about passing on him:
Yet, even more his intelligence and intangibles, if there is anything you need to know about Bismack Biyombo, it is that the 18-year-old is not shy on confidence. He has every intention of leading the NBA in rebounding, blocked shots and being named to All-Defensive teams. The funny thing is, no one is doubting him on those. However, the skepticism following this athletic freak is on the offensive end. Can he develop an Amar'e Stoudemire or Kevin Garnett-like skillset, or will he be destined to the skllls of a Dennis Rodman or Ben Wallace?
There are many questions surrounding Biyombo's name on draft day, but there are certainly some fantastic rewards that could potentially outweigh the risks. It's not very often that a potentially game (and franchise) changing defensive presence becomes available like this, and even less often that teams still aren't sold on the young man's true potential. Where Biyombo lacks in offensive talent, he makes up for in defensive prowess, dedication and heart.
If Bismack Biyombo is available at the number 13 spot in the 2011 NBA Draft, it would be foolish of the Phoenix Suns to pass on the über-athletic Biyombo. If Lance Blanks and Lon Babby are committed to making this team a more defensive unit, Biyombo is the perfect candidate. He might not be able to shoot a lick, but with the right amount of patience and grooming, this young Congolese player may very well be exactly what this franchise needs.
"There's a very high degree of probability, that their draft pick will come out of that workout"
"Alvin Gentry said it was the best workout he's ever had"
"they are looking for either a Forward or a Point Guard and that's what they said, they said one of the two is what they want..."
"Lance said that they really like me a lot - on and off the floor"
To countdown the days (7 left) until D-Day, your faithful servants here at Bright Side of the Sun will try their best to bring you a wee bit of knowledge about some of the likely candidates to be chosen by the Phoenix Suns. Comment, REC, Kill it and continue to be awesome.
Chris Singleton or "The Modern-Day Scottie Pippen" as he refers himself to be is a name that Suns fans could possibly hear when David Stern stands at the podium to announce the thirteenth pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. Let's get to know the kid.Chris Singleton - Florida State, Junior- 21 years old
David Aldridge of NBA.com has the Phoenix Suns taking Chris Singleton at #13 in his mock draft, and here's why -
Indeed "defense" seemed to be the buzzword when the season ended what seems like ages ago... and if Babby, Blanks and co. are indeed committed to scratching out a new defensive culture here in PHX the obvious thing to do would be to draft a defensively skilled player.
Chris Singleton is that player.
But let's first take a look at what he offers on offense.
Here are Chris' stats from his 3 college years at FSU - (Click to enlarge)
With a quick glance at the stats - nothing jumps out a whole lot (except maybe his terrible free-throw shooting...bleh). In fact, DraftExpress.com, in evaluating his strengths and weaknesses show that virtually all of his weaknesses were offensive ones. Despite fairly sound shooting mechanics, he isn't a great shooter, he settles for far too many jump-shots when that isn't his forte and he has a hard time creating his own shot off the dribble and finishing in transition because of his lack of ball handling skill.
The one offensive positive noted is his low-post scoring - he has good patience and an ugly but effective skyhook/RoLo-sideways-flip-shot.
This is what the final offensive evaluation was from D.E. -
...he projects as more of an off-the-ball role player than someone expected to carry a heavy offensive load in the NBA. Clearly he would be best suited playing on an up-tempo team that likes to get out in transition, alongside a point guard who can get him the ball in a position to score. In his current situation at Florida State, with its slow and disjointed offense, it's tough to imagine that at times.
Defensively is where Singleton shines.
The Florida State Seminoles ranked #1 in the NCAA last year in defense - and a big contributor to that title was Chris Singleton. Defense is where Chris will help the Suns or any team immediately in his rookie year.
Here's the defensive 411 - again from D.E.-
With his terrific size, length, lateral quickness and intensity, Singleton puts tremendous pressure on the ball and is an absolute menace in passing lanes. He gets his team tons of extra possessions every game with his ability to collect rebounds, blocks and steals, and is the type of player who would have no problem guarding multiple positions at the NBA level —be it face-up 4's, shot-creating wings, back-to-the-basket forwards, or even switching out onto quicker guards on the perimeter (if that's how his coach elects to defend the pick-and-roll). This type of versatility makes him extremely attractive in today's NBA.
The dude can defend - and to be honest with you, watching him kind of gives me a little Earl Clark deja-vu, both uber-athletic defenders, can be explosive (but sometimes out-of-control) to the rim but settle for an ugly jump-shot that is not their strength far too often.
Some brownie points that Singleton does earn in his favor come from his attitude - in all his interviews he mentions how he's ready to play and to help the team win. Meaning that he is willing to do and fill whatever role the team needs him to fill.
Before I get to the videos I found - here's my final thought on Chris Singleton:
If we pick him at 13 it will most definitely mean that either Childress, Hill, Pietrus, or Dudley will be getting the boot before the start of the season. And to be quite honest I would be very surprised if the Suns do draft Singleton solely based on what Alvin Gentry said last week when asked about drafting another Wing player -
"We would try and avoid that," Gentry said after the Suns finished a workout with a group of prospects. "It would have to be a really, really good wing because I like the guys that we have and the guys thats coming back, so that would be something -- it would have to be somebody pretty special."
General Manager Lance Blanks had a slightly different take on it saying, "On the perimeter, we have a surplus of threes (small forwards) but the off-guard position is something that we'd like to inject."
Could we play Singleton at the off-guard? I don't think so. His shooting skill is mediocre and he is not the best at creating his own shot, something the off-guard should be able to do in order to take pressure off of Nash or the back up PG.
Final Verdict a la Euty - Pass.
He does appear to speak a little better English than Earl Clark...