Mfiondu Kabengele has entered the 2019 NBA Draft. The 6’10 forward from Florida State is flying up draft boards after his impressive combine measurements. The reigning Sixth-Man of the Year in the ACC will most likely hear his name called in the first round.
Mfiondu Kabengele NBA Player Draft Profile
It is extremely rare that a bench guy is the best player on a team that went 27-7 in the vaunted ACC. The 6’10 forward from Burlington, Ontario, Canada had a number of terrific games. The most notable of which was against Duke in a game in January where Cam Reddish hit a three to win the game with 0.8 seconds left on the clock. Kabengele had 24 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 blocks while being a menace on the defensive end of the floor. During his two seasons at Florida State, Kabengele improved his numbers while maintaining efficiency. In his sophomore season, Kabengele averaged 13.2 points, 1.5 blocks, 5.9 rebounds while shooting 37% from three and 50% from the field.
Mfiondu Kabengele NBA Draft Positives
Kabengele is an outstanding athlete, standing at 6’10 with a 7’3 wingspan, which is fourth best in the draft. According to Jonathan Givony of Draft Expres, Kabengele’s measurements resemble most like Karl Anthony-Towns. His length, timing, and jumping ability make Kabengele a tremendous interior defender and rim protector. He is also extremely quick for his size, being one of the only players in last season who made life relatively difficult for Zion Williamson last season.
The other major positive about Mfiondu Kabengele is the fact that he is arguably the best shooting big man in this draft. He is tremendous in the pick and pop, catching and rising over the defense for open free-throw line jump-shots. Although he does not attempt a ton of threes, only 2 a game, he shoots a high percentage and has a very smooth shot that suggests he could become a volume three-point shooter.
Mfiondu Kabengele Question Marks
Although only a sophomore, Kabengele is going to turn 22-years-old in August. This will raise questions about how much he can improve as a prospect. Despite having a great jump-shot from multiple areas on the floor, Kabengele is not the elite finisher you would want coming from someone with that size and athleticism. If he is not dunking the ball he can sometimes struggle to finish through contact below the rim. Kabengele is also the type of player who can fall in love with his jump shot if he has hit a few early.
Serge Ibaka immediately comes to mind because of his elite physical profile and a smooth jumper from midrange. Just like Ibaka, Kabengele is a naturally gifted shot blocker. Despite his athleticism, he is not an elite defender in space and can get beaten off of the dribble. Kabengele has the potential to be a star in his role. A shot blocking big who can be lethal in the pick and pop.
Round 1, Pick 23 – Utah Jazz.
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