The San Antonio Spurs might have been bounced from the NBA Playoffs, but they can still win during the NBA Draft.
With their pick slots decided, it is time to speculate on who they will draft and this week’s prospect seems like a sneaky good candidate for a Spurs pick.
Florida State big man Mfiondu Kabengele — the name is already a bonus for the young man — is a 6-foot-10, 250-pound shot blocker, shot maker and still a somewhat raw prospect.
He has put up some pretty good numbers despite playing a reserve role for coach Leonard Hamilton’s team.
Here are his stats from the past season in about 22 minutes of play per game:
- 13.2 PPG, 1.5 BPG, 5.9 RPG
- 50.2 FG%, 36.9 3P%, 76.1 FT%
- 28.9 PER, 120.5 ORtg, 92.9 DRtg
Kabengele not only has the size and strength you like to see in a player at his position, but he also has the pedigree being the nephew of the great Dikembe Mutombo.
He moves well at his size, wouldn’t really have to bulk up to play at the next level and is almost a blank slate to work with offensively and defensively. That is certainly going to be enticing for a team that could use a guy who is efficient on both ends of the floor.
The Seminole is a bit old in this draft as the redshirt sophomore is already 21. However, if a team is willing to be patient and save him for down the road, then the payoff could be huge.
He can protect the rim with his frame, athleticism and wingspan. He will struggle to defend on the perimeter a bit as he is a bit slow-footed in that regard.
The shooting from Kabengele might be his most surprising asset as he has shown the ability to knock down shots from all over the floor and is masterful in the mid-range.
The only downside for him in that regard is that he will fall in love with the jumper, especially if he sees a few go in. Thanks to his size, he can get that jumper off whenever he wants.
He’s got a great motor as well, which will make him an excellent rebounder at the next level as well.
Improving his passing ability and ball handling will be huge. If he can make serious progress on those two fronts, then he will be a force on offense.
As it stands now, he does not handle pressure on the perimeter well and tends to drive with his head down. Those are fairly fixable flaws with enough practice.
The ACC’s Sixth Man of the Year could get some first round looks should he impress in workouts and possibly the NBA Combine if he gets the invite.
He has the size and length you want in an NBA big man and is still a bit more mobile than the bigger guys in the league so he should be fine there.