Not only is Bismack Biyombo the clear-cut favorite among DBB readers, he's also the consensus pick by the media. (Seriously, it's crazy -- take a peek below the jump to see what I'm talking about it.) And in a move that vindicates all of the hype, the NBA finally extended Biyombo a belated invitation to the green room for tonight's draft after snubbing him when the initial invites went out last week. Jonathan Giovany of DraftExpress has the news in his latest mock draft for Yahoo:
Biyombo appears to be the clear-cut favorite in Detroit at the moment, after an outstanding workout on Tuesday against Tristan Thompson and Markieff Morris, where he showed significantly better offensive ability than he was thought to possess.
Biyombo’s strong ascension up NBA teams’ draft boards has not gone unnoticed by the league office, causing NBA officials to extend him a last-minute invitation to the green room, said multiple sources close to the situation. Teams that were looking to select the "unknown" Biyombo did not want to give the appearance of reaching so badly for his services that they would have to fetch him out of the crowd to shake David Stern’s hand, which is why a last-minute push was made to bring him in. Unfortunately, his family will not be able to arrive in time from the Congo.
Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated has Detroit selecting Biyombo in his mock draft posted Wednesday morning:
All those Ben Wallace comparisons will be put to the test, as Biyombo would be paired with the man himself in Motor City. Let's just hope he remembers to emulate the young Ben Wallace.
Valanciunas is a possibility, too, but new ownership could put the kibosh on drafting a player who can't produce right away (even if that might turn out to be flawed logic because a potential lockout could erase the season that Valanciunas would be missing as it is). Kansas power forward Markieff Morris played his way into contention for this spot during a Tuesday workout that also included Biyombo, but I'm not sold that he gets the nod.
SB Nation's Tom Ziller has Detroit taking Biyombo, as does ... Keith Langlois (!) of Pistons.com:
The choice for the Pistons, if the draft plays out this way, almost certainly will come down to Bismack Biyombo or Texas frosh Tristan Thompson. And you can flip a coin as to whom they’ll take. You can bet the war room conversation will be spirited, but the Pistons are going to come out of there feeling pretty good. They like the high character, competitiveness, toughness, rebounding and defensive mind-set both players represent. Biyombo probably has both the higher ceiling and the lower floor. If they hit, he could be a dynamic frontcourt partner for Greg Monroe for the next dozen years.
CBS Sports' Ben Golliver predicts Biyombo lands in Detroit, though Matt Moore (same link) gives the nod to Marcus Morris. NBA.com's Scott Howard-Cooper likes Biyombo:
The closer the Draft gets, the more some teams believe Joe Dumars needs the safe pick, with a new owner and a new coach. Biyombo is definitely not a safe-pick guy, but he does project as a game changer more than anyone still on the board. That's impossible to ignore.
As of Tuesday, ESPN's Chad Ford liked Biyombo:
Analysis: We've had the Pistons taking Valanciunas the past few weeks, but with Valanciunas now planning on returning to Europe for another year, I don't think the Pistons will take the chance. With Kemba Walker also off the board, the Pistons are down to two prospects -- Biyombo and Tristan Thompson.
Thompson has upside, but from what I can gather, the team is still very high on Biyombo. The Pistons know how to develop a defensive stopper like this. This pick might come down to what happens at Tuesday's workout between Thompson and Biyombo.
I'm sure I've missed a few dissenters, but at this point they're nearly impossible to find. Could this really happen? Don't Kemba this up, Joe!