In the 2011 NBA Draft, the Charlotte Bobcats selected Tobias Harris with the 19th overall pick in the draft. However, he was traded almost immediately traded as part of a three-team deal that landed the Bobcats a basically washed-up Corey Magette and the rights to seventh-overall pick Bismack Biyombo.
After two seasons of looking pretty terrible in Charlotte, this is somewhat of a make-or-break season for Biyombo. In an article by Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer from Tuesday, Bobcats president of basketball operations Rod Higgins talked about how Biyombo will fit in on the Bobcats’ roster with the new additions of Al Jefferson and rookie Cody Zeller, saying that the team hasn’t “lost enthusiasm” over the potential of Biyombo. Higgins went on to say that Biyombo will have “opportunities to grow” and that the big man “still has tremendous upside.”
In actuality, though, Higgins might be blinded by the physical tools that Biyombo was given and not seeing the basketball product that the two-year big man has put forth. When you look strictly at the basketball that he’s played, it’s not promising at all.
Through two seasons and 143 career games, Biyombo has averaged five points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 25.5 minutes per game while shooting only 45.7 percent from the field and just 50.2 percent from the foul-line. In fact, his offensive numbers actually declined last season as he played a bigger role on Charlotte.
Staying on the topic of last season, Biyombo was one of the worst offensive players in the league in terms of points per possession. He ranked a putrid 384th in the league offensively, putting up only 0.79 points per possession overall. He was also awful in terms of posting up, averaging just 0.61 points per possession in those situations.
However, much of Biyombo’s perceived value is derived from his defense. Outside of his ability to block shots, though, his defense isn’t great. Last season he ranked only 256th in the league defensively as he allowed 0.89 points per possession. He was also killed in terms of post-ups, allowing 0.83 points per possession.
Biyombo has the athleticism to be a great defender, but he lacks the mental capacity and skills to succeed on either end of the floor as of right now. His shot, no matter where it’s from on the floor, looks awful; his rotations and footwork are poor; and his situational awareness is not good.
With Biyombo being 21 years old and having the physical gifts that he does, I understand the tendency for the Bobcats to talk about and have faith in his potential. However, I just don’t see it. This isn’t a player that has a part of his game that needs to be fixed; Biyombo is a player that needs almost the entirety of his game to be fixed. If it were me, I’d feel much better about my team trotting out Zeller or Josh McRoberts at the four or Jefferson and Brendan Haywood at the five. There’s potential with Biz, but I’m not sure that potential is ever going to be tapped.
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