Biyombo, Motiejunas fail to impress
TREVISO, Italy -- After suffering through yet another weak Portsmouth Invitational with virtually no NBA prospects and then watching the Chicago pre-draft camp diluted to a few hours of drills, a number of NBA GMs and scouts finally got what they were looking for at the adidas Eurocamp this weekend -- competitive 5-on-5 basketball with legit NBA prospects.
Camp director Pete Philo and longtime project leaders Jelena Soce and Michele Gherardini delivered a great group of prospects for this year's event. Potential lottery picks Bismack Biyombo and Donatas Motiejunas showed up to do interviews and workouts. Jonas Valanciunas arrived on Sunday to do interviews. Virtually every other top international prospect (with the exception of former Eurocampers Jan Vesely and Bojan Bogdanovic) came here to play.
A number of top NBA decision makers at the camp -- including the Spurs' R.C. Buford, the Jazz's Kevin O'Connor, the Rockets' Daryl Morey, the Bucks' John Hammond, the Raptors' Bryan Colangelo, the Nuggets' Masai Ujiri, the Grizzlies' Chris Wallace and the Timberwolves' David Kahn along with a host of other NBA assistant GMs and scouts -- were in attendance.
Throw in an amazing setting to watch basketball, some gourmet cuisine and a number of potential NBA prospects fighting on the court for their shot at the NBA and you continue to have the gold standard for what a NBA draft camp should look like.
After watching nearly 20 hours of basketball and talking to numerous GMs and scouts in attendance, here's a look at who helped and hurt their stock both for this draft and future drafts.
Bismack Biyombo, PF/C, Congo
Top 100 Rank: 11
Bismack Biyombo was the main attraction at this year's Eurocamp. On the court, he disappointed. Biyombo decided to skip the game and drill portion of the camp, and instead did a one-on-none workout in front of 100 or so NBA scouts and GMs.
While Biyombo is a fantastic athlete, and has a crazy 7-foot-6 wingspan, an NBA body and speed these sort of workouts aren't ideal for him. Biyombo looked understandably nervous and it seemed to affect his game. Much of the workout focused on his perimeter skills -- a major weakness of Biyombo. He missed roughly 75 to 80 percent of the shots he took in this portion of the workout.
He was better when he showed his speed, power and ability to dunk the basketball. Had the workout been geared toward big men, he likely would've shown better. In fact, several NBA sources who saw his workouts in Spain said he looked better when NBA teams were allowed to ask him to do specific big man drills.
Unfortunately, the workout didn't focus him in that direction. Instead of being reminded of why so many fell in love with him at the Nike Hoop Summit -- his amazing rebounding and shot-blocking -- we were shown his weaknesses for roughly 30 minutes.
As one GM summed it up, "Bismack Biyombo played one-against-none today and he lost."
To see how the poor showing by Biyombo will likely impact his draft stock and get updates on all the top European prospects, you must be an ESPN Insider.