Finally, after diving into many prospects from P.J. Washington and on, we have reached the conclusion of the community draft board with Mfioundu Kabengele, a rim protecting big out of Florida State.
His name recognition will likely come from being Dikembe Mutombo’s nephew, but he boasts plenty of his own skills in addition to the defensive pedigree passed down through generations. Kabengele made his bones as a paint protector at Florida State, averaging 2.6 blocks per-40 minutes throughout his career. He may be a 6’10” guy, but his 7’3” wingspan means he can play larger than his height. Here’s the part that intrigues me most from The Ringer’s draft guide:
Major potential defending the pick-and-roll; he has improved in college and does a solid job of dropping to defend both his man and the ball handler. His length is a natural deterrent.
Sound familiar? That style and defensive acumen is precisely what the Bucks have in Brook Lopez. Kabengele apparently gets out of position more at points, but is adept at recovering to block guys from behind. Everything isn’t quite rosy with his skill set though, as is the case with any prospect this late. His energetic approach can get the best of him at times, causing those positional lapses I was just talking about. He also doesn’t do the little things like Lopez does, i.e. boxing out, meaning he’ll need some baseline tutelage under Bud’s squad should he fall to Milwaukee.
He also has the Thon Maker foul plague running through his veins, averaging 5.2 fouls per 40 minutes during his time at Florida State. While he is a quite capable finisher at the rim with decent touch, he has a penchant for getting blinders when the ball is passed to him. With Bud’s staff, that’s an absolute no-go, so once more, there’s a ways to go if his raw skills are going to be harnessed within Milwaukee’s system. His end-to-end speed and pogo-stick leaping ability remains an intriguing combo with Milwaukee’s fleet of ball handlers.
On the plus side, he’s shown some touch as a shooter out of pick-and-pops. He shot 72.4% from the free throw line in his career, and his percentage leaped up 10% from his freshman to sophomore year on almost twice as much volume. From deep, his limited 91 attempts don’t provide a huge sample, but going 37.4% is plenty to work with. He’s got a pretty quick release for his size and wasn’t afraid to shoot from well beyond the college arc.
Among the last three guys we covered on the board, between Kabegele, Nicolas Claxton and Bruno Fernando, I’m most inclined to go with Claxton just given the raw tools on display and my trust in Bud’s development strategy. Personally, I’m smitten with Talen Horton-Tucker given his age and potential defensive versatility, shooting issues be damned.
Even if it’s looking increasingly likely the Bucks may opt to ship out this year’s pick for salary relief, it’s always instructive to go through the prospects as a group and see how different people view different players, particularly with respect to Milwaukee’s roster. Thanks everyone for playing along with the exercise, and I guess we’ll wait to see how Jon Horst opts to approach the pick come June 20.
Final Brew Hoop Draft Board Rankings
- Zion Williamson - PF, Duke
- Ja Morant - PG, Murray State
- Jarrett Culver - SG, Texas Tech
- R.J. Barrett - SG, Duke
- Darius Garland - PG, Vanderbilt
- Coby White - SG, UNC
- De’Andre Hunter - SF, Virginia
- Cam Reddish - SF, Duke
- Sekou Doumbouya - PF, Limoges CSP, France
- Nassir Little - SF, UNC
- Jaxson Hayes - C, Texas
- Rui Hachimura - PF, Gonzaga
- Brandon Clarke - PF, Gonzaga
- Goga Bitadze - C, Mega Bemax, Adriatic Basketball Association
- P.J. Washington - PF, Kentucky
- Kevin Porter Jr. - SG, USC
- Bol Bol - PF, Oregon
- Tyler Herro - SG, Kentucky
- Romeo Langford - SG, Indiana
- Nickeil Alexander-Walker - SG, Virginia Tech
- Cameron Johnson - PF, UNC
- Ty Jerome - SG, Virginia
- Keldon Johnson - SF, Kentucky
- Grant Williams - PF, Tennessee
- Matisse Thybulle - SF, Washington
- Dylan Windler - SF, Belmont
- Carsen Edwards - SG, Purdue
- Bruno Fernando - C, Maryland
- Nic Claxton - C, Georgia
- Mfiondu Kabengele - PF, Florida State