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Raptors Get Free Agent Center Bismack Biyombo

With a renewed focus on defense, the Toronto Raptors got one of their more obvious targets in free agency by landing unrestricted free agent defensive center Bismack Biyombo on a two-year, $6 million deal as reported by Adrian Wojnarowski.

Biyombo was drafted seventh overall by the Kings as a 19-year-old in 2011, flipped to Charlotte in a three-team deal and the 6’ 9.5” project center/power forward has been toiling away in near obscurity ever since. After his first two seasons, Biyombo saw his minutes cut, but his rebounding rate and field goal percentage improved and this still very young center started to gain some confidence in his game.

“The game has kind of slowed down for me,” Biyombo told Pro Bball Report at the end of the season. “I understand the game better. I know how I can help the team on defense. Help different guys on the floor to cover weaknesses and help them play to their strengths on offense.

“I am really starting to get comfortable (offensively). The game slowed down for me so much you know exactly where to be, how to set a perfect screen for a teammate to get open, how to position yourself to get the ball the right way. I have worked hard enough. I am not surprised with how I am playing this season and I’ll make sure I come to the new season a better player, a better person. I am pretty sure people will be surprised because I still have a lot to show.”

Biyombo has provided solid defense on one of the NBA’s better defensive teams in Charlotte. He averaged 6.4 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in just 19.1 minutes this past season. On offense, he ran the floor and set solid screens, but he only averaged 4.8 points as his effective scoring range is virtually point blank. However, this very young big man is discovering what works for him at the offensive end of the court and when he stays in his lane and looks to get the ball to shooters, he doesn’t disappear on offense.

“I am really starting to get comfortable (offensively),” Biyombo said. “The game slowed down for me so much you know exactly where to be, how to set a perfect screen for a teammate to get open, how to position yourself to get the ball the right way. I have worked hard enough. I am not surprised with how I am playing this season and I’ll make sure I come to the new season a better player, a better person. I am pretty sure people will be surprised because I still have a lot to show.”

This young player could prove to be a steal for Toronto. A Dwane Casey style of player who should quickly earn minutes in the Raptors rotation with effort on the defensive end of the court and a willingness to share the ball on offense.

The acquisitions of forward DeMarre Carroll and center Biyombo signal the Raptors are getting back to playing a more defensive style that fits better with their head coach.

 

 

Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

 

 

 

Biyombo Hansbrough JosephWhat’s Next For The Toronto Raptors In Free Agency?
At a minimum the Raptors need to add a guard, power forward and a center and those additions had better be rotation worthy. In keeping with finding a defensive-minded player that can rebound and block shots, unrestricted free agent Bismack Biyombo fits the bill.

 

 

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