Mfiondu Kabengele - FUS - 6'10" - 7'3" wingspan - 250 lbs
So after saying I ruled out big men the number one guy the Sixers should draft is a 6'10" player? Yep. I am not riding the bandwagon surge from the recent media. I was scouting Terrance Mann a teammate about 2 weeks or so ago when I noticed I was more intrigued by Kabengele than Mann. There were very few players whose tape made me go wow, but Kabengele's did.
He has one clearly near-elite to elite skill and it's rim protection. He combines very good body control, timing, explosion off his feet and his large wingspan to make some spectacular blocks and alter any other number of shots at the rim. He also has the awareness at times to come off his man to help or get a weak side block after a guard penetrated and beat his man. He does struggle at times with defensive awareness and his BBIQ is still growing. I don't see this as a downside as he showed growth consistently throughout last year in these areas.
What makes him special is that he has the body and athleticism to comfortably guard the 4 position and could be played at the 4 or 5. If there is any player I think Brett would play as Embiid's backup as a rookie it is Kabengele.
His shooting is above average and I believe will only continue to get better. He demonstrated the ability to hit from NBA 3 range and deeper. His motion from catch to shoot is compact and quick. He has a nice wrist flick and follow through on release. In the videos linked below you can see he is more than capable of coming down as the trailer, catching in motion and then stopping on a dime and rising into a 3. In one of the videos Kabengele fakes going inside before darting to the corner his head and upper body turned with hands ready to catch the swing pass from the guard. In one fluid motion Kabengele is setting his feet while catching the ball and then turns flush to the basket rising and making a shot at the buzzer. That's the sign of a player whose shooting fundamentals are natural or well practiced and should only improve. He shot 37% from 3 on about 3 attempts per 40 and 76% at the stripe on 9 attempts per 40. So there is some sample size concern.
Although the video attached shows quite a few hi-lights from the post, I found that his post game is still a work in progress and would probably consider it average to below average. Given his athletic ability and that he appears to be a late bloomer I wouldn't be surprised to see it improve.
His ball handling is also a work in progress and should likely be considered below average at this point. I think his main point of emphasis should be on working on a close out dribble into a jumper given his shot form is more advanced at this point. Another weak spot is his passing which he did very little of. Honestly though, per 40 he only took 16 shots a game which isn't that insane and I think concerns over him being a black hole or a ball movement killer are a bit inflated. Even so, if he's getting open looks from the Sixers ball movement Brett's always on green light would suit Kabengele just fine.
Kabengele is a perfect fit for this Sixers team. His size and athleticism would give Brett a lot of versaility in how to use him and his primary skill as a 3 point shooter on offense solves a lot of the big man issues for Simmons. I don't see any reason why Kabengele shouldn't shoot well in the NBA and having him as your 5 or 4 would create a lot of spacing. He is one of the few prospects that I would trade up to obtain. How high to trade up? 17 if necessary. Two weeks ago he was a middle to late second rounder, now mocks have him to the Sixers at 24 or to the Celtics at 14 and Hawks at 17.
FWIW here are Kabengele's Combine spot up shooting numbers: https://stats.nba.com/draft/combine-spot-up/#!?sort=PLAYER_NAME&dir=-1