Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com:
Biyombo makes direct, if not challenging, eye contact and in clear English explains specifically what will happen. He will lead the NBA in rebounding. He will lead the NBA in blocks. It is more declaration than explanation, really, with peppered references to hard work softening arrogance into determination.
The age issue, from differing reports about the validity of his earliest documents from the Republic of Congo, has basically faded. One general manager who has looked into the issue is asked how old Biyombo is and answers, "Your guess is as good as mine," but also stresses it is not a major concern. The difference between being 18 and, say, 25 or 27? That's a big deal because it indicates in stronger terms what Biyombo's ceiling is and it reduces the potential length of his career. But the difference between 18 and the 21 or 22 some suggest is minor by comparison.
"At some point, it becomes like a little fun to me," he said. "I watch a lot of players. I watch a lot of guys. So why they trust the other guys in the Draft and they don't trust me? That's my question."
We get up from the table in the coffee shop and Biyombo, with the largest wing span of any player measured here or at the Chicago pre-Draft combine, extends his right arm. He shakes hands and maintains eye contact in a way few with 10 years in the league do. He says he appreciates the chance to tell people about his story. There is no mystery man here.
Aran Smith, NBADraft.net:
The workout was a little painful to watch as he missed shot after shot from within 10 feet of the basket. At one point it seemed a little foolish to have him shoot so many shots when it's not the strength of his game. We counted his shots after the first couple minutes and he went something close to 12-of-35 from within 10 feet playing 1-on-none. He was able to redeem himself somewhat by knocking down 9 free throws in a row at one point to finish 14-of-20 towards the end.
To be fair, this type of workout is difficult as the player is being asked to exert a ton of energy without a break and it's extremely intimidating knowing that so many scouts are watching every move and dissecting your game. It can start to play tricks with a player's head if they aren't mentally tough. Biyombo didn't look nervous but his shooting may have been thrown off to a degree.
David Aldridge, NBA.com:
A couple of NBA veteran personnel men compare Biyombo to Saer Sene, who rocketed from Senegal, seemingly overnight, and wound up being taken 10th overall by Seattle in the 2006 Draft, but never lived up to his high status and lasted just three seasons in the NBA.
"This kid's way better than Saer Sene," the Central exec said. "He played big minutes on a good team. This kid's gonna go pretty early. He's got the mystery thing going for him, which is really important. Because we're all looking for upside, right?"
But like the others, Biyombo could be both helped and hurt by moving up in the Draft will all the withdrawals. Helped in that he may be taken higher in the first round than he would have otherwise. But hurt because of the high expectations that are placed on top-10 picks.