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NBA Draft News and Profiles

NBA Draft 2011: Is Bismack Biyombo's back a 'red flag?'

Does Bismack Biyombo have a bad back? That's what Ryan Feldman of The Hoops Report is reporting:

I was told by a trusted league source today in New York at NBA Draft media day that Bismack Biyombo has a medical red flag with is [sic] back.

Biyombo's medical report was handed out to every single NBA team by his agent. At least one team's medical staff decided there was an issue with his back that they deemed a red flag. The source said some teams may have decided it wasn't that much of an issue, but some teams have decided it is an issue.

The source said there are also some question marks on the medical report regarding both of Biyombo's knees, but the source said his knees weren't enough of an issue to be considered a red flag.

Is this true? I suspect it's either exaggerated and/or sourced from an agent with a competing prospect. This is significant news about perhaps the most talked about prospect in the draft, so you'd think it'd come from one of the heavy hitters, be it a national writer (eg, Woj, Ford, Amick, Giovany or Berger) or a prominent beat reporter.

Instead, it's a relatively unknown writer publishing on his own site relying on a single anonymous source.

I call B.S.

I'm not saying Feldman is lying -- someone may have told him what he's reporting -- but this doesn't seem to be vetted or confirmed, and the lack of confirmation from the rest of the media (which is surprisingly quick to give credit when credit is due) is impossible to ignore. I hate to be cynical, but it reads like someone fishing for a scoop hoping to make a name for himself. (And it's working, isn't it? We're talking about it right now. Sigh.)

Feldman continues:

The league source said they still think Biyombo goes either No. 8 to the Pistons or No. 9 to the Bobcats.

If Biyombo somehow gets past No. 9, he could be available for the Bobcats' next pick at No. 19.

Biyombo worked out Wednesday in New York for the Knicks, which hold the No. 17 pick.

Actually, Biyombo worked out Wednesday in Charlotte for the Bobcats, who hold the No. 9 pick. (And isn't it convenient that this big news hasn't changed anyone's draft board?) Simple mistakes like that are a "red flag" to take the entire report with a grain of salt.

(But what if it is true? I'm still not concerned. Arnie Kander may be the best strength and conditioning coach in the league. Unless Biyombo has serious structural damage [ie, missing ACLs like DaJuan Blair], Kander should be able to tweak any mechanical flaws that are causing imbalance or weakness.)

I could be completely wrong, perhaps there's more to this story than I'm giving Feldman and his fledgling site credit for. And if that's the case, I owe the guy an apology. But I doubt it.