2011 NBA Draft: Cavs Fans, Get to Know Bismack Biyombo

As rare as Congloese players may be in the NBA, the Cleveland Cavaliers could be well on their way to having two natives of the lovely Republic under their club control beyond the 2011-12 season.

This past weekend, our own Kirk dove into a few potential international selections (Jan Vesely, Donatas Motiejunas, and Jonas Valanciunas) who could be available for the Cavaliers come this June.  While most feedback about international players tends to be negative – after all, research is a lot harder than turning on the NCAA tournament – one player who went unmentioned is the very athletic and very intriguing  Bismack Biyombo.

Standing at 6-feet-9-inches tall, the Congloese center has a 7-foot-7-inch wingspan and a standing reach of 9-feet-3-inches.  Let that marinate for a second…

On the flip side, at 243 pounds and 4.8 percent body fat and 18 years of age, Biyombo has an NBA-ready body but is incredibly raw on the offensive end and admits his shot remains his top priority in terms of improvement.  However, the long, high-upside big man has turned many heads due to his amazing athleticism and desire to improve.  Most recently, Biyombo tallied a triple-double at the Nike Hoops Summit, scoring 12 points to go along with 11 rebounds and 10 blocked shots against Team USA.

It was not only the first triple-double in the history of the event, but it shattered the blocked shots record previously set by future Hall of Fame forward Kevin Garnett. As one west coast member of the media stated so eloquently, the second half of Saturday’s Hoop Summit became a contest of “Who can drive into the paint against Biyombo and not get immediately swatted.”

His ascents to the rim appear effortless, he dunks every basketball as the ultimate goal is to throw it through the hardwood floor; he’s not afraid to allow space in transition as his reach can more than compensate and his tenacity on defense could be just what the doctor ordered – assuming said doctor is one Byron Scott.  

Biyombo describes his game as “intense” and “powerful.”  His Summit head coach Roy Rana deemed the young big man as a “phenominal talent” who is capable of “spectacular things.”  Even more intriguings is the fact that Biyombo understands his current limitations and attempts to make up for them in the areas which he exceeds – shot-blocking and rebounds, specifically on the offensive end – while working on his weaknesses when it will not hurt his teammates.

Coming in late during an overseas flight into Portland, Biyombo was given the opportunity to not practice with his Hoops Summit teammates in order to sleep off any jetlag.  He declined.  His impact during practice was immediate and his play in the Summit did not suffer as Biyombo continues his ascent up draft boards due to his freakish athleticism and high character.

Once deemed a late-first round draft pick, the Congloese shot-blocker is reminding scouts and general managers of Oklahoma City’s Serge Ibaka.  The result is the possibility for Biyombo to go late in the lottery, a position where the Cavaliers could in fact be drafting given their acquired selection in the Mo Williams-Baron Davis trade with the Los Angeles Clippers.  Having four draft selections in the upcoming draft (and only one expiring contract in Anthony Parker), the Cavaliers are widely considered to be a team which would acquire at least one foreign player with the ability to stash him overseas as he improves his game uninterrupted, flexibility which is of high value in the event of a lockout.

Coupling all of the above with the team’s desire to add post defenders, Byron Scott’s athlete-focused offense and a potential multi-year rebuilding process, Biyombo could find himself as the second Congloese-born player selected by the Cavaliers in the last three years.

(image via ACB.com)

  • Illmatic8

    Interesting

  • Nullster

    I didn’t discover his name until about a week ago looking at Ford’s Mock Lottery Draft. Now I’ve obsessed about him being on the Cavs for pure namesake reasons only.

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Craig Lyndall

    But how far did his team go in the tourney this year? I’ve never heard of him. I’m scared. Someone hold my hand.

  • http://www.heyhokie.com Vengeful Pat

    If he’s got a good motor, then I’m game. The Cavs don’t need him to be a scorer, they need him to grab rebounds and protect the rim. Show me that he can do that against decent talent, and I’m fully on board.

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Scott

    “Show me that he can do that against decent talent…”

    The guys he was owning this past week are staring at top-five selections in the 2012 NBA Draft. And scholarships to the University of Kentucky.

  • REEPJP

    @Nullster…lol…I’m imagining the t-shirts/non-family friendly WFNY game recap titles now…”#6 and the Heat get Bi***smacked Down Low by the Cavs”….yep…sign me up for this guy with our 2nd 1st (assuming we don’t hit the real lottery and get #1 & #2)

  • http://www.brian23.com Brian

    Diop.

  • mgbode

    name alone makes him a lottery pick.

    I was all happy when just a month ago he was rated as a 2nd round pick. high motor, good protection of the rim and blocked shots out of a high 2nd. i’m all aboard that one.

    but, #8 pick in the draft? hmmm….

    we’d have to be sure he’s better than Kenneth Faried (honestly). I know he’s bigger and capable of being better, but we’d definitely have to do an in depth study on these two if we go defense with pick #8.

    i’m still all aboard Irving/Kanter + Vesely. But, open to the idea of a defense-first player.

  • mgbode

    oh, and speaking of foreign centers. any word on this guy?

    http://www.nbadraft.net/players/lucas-nogueira

    I’ve actually seen him play and he was pretty dang good at blocking/rebounding as well.

    If we can’t have two Congolese players, how about 2 Brazilians? (2nd round guy IMO)

  • Dan the beagle

    Get him just for the blocks and rebounds. The rest will come with time.

  • Unchecked Aggression

    I watched some YouTube highlights and interviews with this guy. Was very impressed by his defensive intensity for both boxing out and blocking shots. He has an excellent grasp of the defensive principles.

    Offense is raw, but shows fluidity and potential.

    I was also impressed that he speaks fluent English. I think that’s important. It will make him much more coachable from day 1.

  • humboldt

    Biyombo Coles

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Scott

    mgbode – I talked to Andy about him last week, and actually had something about him in this very post but edited it out as it didn’t jibe with the topic. Andy has never played *with* him, but Bebe has practiced with the national team and the initial thoughts are that he is equally raw, high-upside and is a good kid. The only major difference is that Bebe’s lack of seasoning is not only on the offensive end, but also in terms of his body and conditioning. He’s taller than Bismack, but needs to gain a lot of weight. Andy made sure to reiterate that he’s surrounded by what he thinks are the right people, so there’s a considerably less chance he goes nuts when he’s handed millions.

    PS – I tweeted this very conversation last week; you really should consider following me :)

  • mydogsnameisbuckeye

    I posted on Twitter about how cool it would be to have Lob City feat Skyenga, JJ and Biyombo… Sick.

  • Mike V

    Very insightful post Scott. We actually discussed this prospect via Twitter for a bit this past weekend. I was happy to see this post after our conversation. Thanks for the scouting report. Very intriguing, a player I would love to stash overseas for a couple years. (@lilv018)

  • mgbode

    @Scott – ok, that’s pretty much on par with what I have heard with him, which is why he would be a 2nd round pick and need a year at least before coming into the NBA.

    with Knight, Kemba, Kawhi, possibly Kanter and other associated K-names available at #8/9, all the more reason I think we should target Lucas with #31 rather than Bismack with #8/9.

  • MattyFos

    Biyombo is Ben Wallace 2.0
    IF, and that’s a big IF, he is in fact 18. We have to consider him over the rest of the Euro Bigs. I’d rather not stash him. I want him in the gym with Jent for 3 hours a day working on his offense. With that standing reach and his 7’7″ wingspan he could play Center for the Cavs. Yeah he’s only 6’9″ but his standing reach is on par (or higher) than a lot of C’s in the league.

    Jason Collins 9′ 2″
    Tyson Chandler 9′ 2″
    Al Jefferson 9′ 2″
    Marcin Gortat 9′ 2″
    Elton Brand 9′ 2″
    Andrea Bargnani 9′ 2″
    LaMarcus Aldridge 9′ 2″
    Kevin Durrant 9′ 2″
    Chris Kaman 9′ 2.5″
    Emeka Okafor 9′ 2.5″
    Channing frye 9′ 2.5″
    Andrew Bogut 9′ 2.5″
    Eddy Curry 9′ 3″
    Darko Milicic 9′ 3.5″
    Dwight Howard 9′ 3.5″
    Greg Oden 9′ 4″
    Krylyo Fesonko 9′ 4″
    Hasheem Thabeet 9′ 5″
    DeSagana Diop 9′ 5″
    Brook Lopez 9′ 5″
    Shaquille O’neal 9′ 5″
    Brendan Haywood 9′ 5.5″

  • MattyFos

    Oh and I was watching the game yesterday on FSN.. He wasn’t blocking shots. He was spiking these shots like he was playing volleyball.

  • Shamrock

    That’s pronounced Bi-SMACK it out of here! Wasn’t this kid discovered by Kevin Bacon in that one movie? Anyways I think Chris Grant was the guy who wanted Eyenga so why not!

  • Chuck

    He is much more than Ben. He is ready now unlike Ben who needed some years. He is a freak and won’t be there beyond the third pick in a draft with no real bigs. Do your homework and go to YouTube for some footage. A very cool and charismatic kid.

    But the real deal is going to KY for one year. Remember his name–Anthony Davis. The most skilled big man ever–a hybrid of KD and Olajuwon and even a little of Bill Russell.

  • Danny

    I don’t think Lucas is entering the draft this year. If he did, he would probably go in the early to mid 20s. I can’t see him lasting to 32.

    I feel like the Cavs are almost definitely going to take an international player at 8. Valanciunas will likely be gone, but some combination of Motiejunas, Biyombo, and Vesely will be available. I’d say it’s better to role the dice on one of them than Terrence Jones or Kawhi Leonard.

  • The Other Tim

    We’re doomed.

  • Herman Hess

    He’s like Kendrick Perkins, but a little better. Get him before you regret. Cavs all the way…

  • Mike Senga

    Let me just say, if you get this guy on your team, then you’re very VERY lucky and you’ll go places.

    Bismack is a young and talented kid from lubumbashi (DR Congo). I know this because I played with him for years on local courts. I can tell you this. I’ve never seen in my life anybody develop so quick. He has unbelievable basketball IQ and it’s unfair to compare him to eyenga or ibaka (again, trust me on that). I can understand why some people in the US doubt his age but people don’t know that he simply left high school early to pursue his dream. And that’s not an easy thing to do where we come from because we value education more than anything. So Cavs if you get him, I’ll congratulate you in advance.

  • Chuck

    Brian: this guy is way, way more athletic than Diop.

  • kavs

    I want the cavs to get Bismack soooooo bad. Freakish people are special and unique in the NBA, and he has that potential BIG time. This guy is totally worth the gamble.

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