Team: Limoges CSP (LNB Pro A)
Age: 18 years old, Born December 23rd, 2000
Height/Weight: 6’9, 210 lbs.
Sekou Doumbouya is by far the best European prospect in this year’s draft class. He has an insane amount of upside due to his extremely young age of 18 and his general lack of experience in the game. Despite his mature frame, he is so young that him getting even longer and taller is not out of the question.
Sekou’s biggest strengths are his physical tools and immense defensive upside. Sekou is a long, strong, athletic forward with big time defensive tools. His combination of length, lateral quickness, strength and explosiveness gives him a lot of defensive versatility, which is an extremely valuable skill to have as the NBA becomes seemingly position-less. He is extremely quick off of his feet so when combined with his length and leaping ability, he has value as a weak side shot blocker. He has all of the tools in the world to become an elite defender at the next level. Sekou knows his role and looks like he wants to be a legitimate defensive weapon, as he sits down in a good defensive stance and plays with a lot of intensity.
Doumbouya has a lot of potential as a transition threat due to his ability to grab and go. He has the speed, agility and solid ball control to make this happen. Opposing forwards will have a difficult time staying in front of him in transition and perimeter players may be too small to do anything about him barreling to the rim with his strong frame, length, upper body, and explosiveness. He does not shy away from contact which leads to him getting to the line quite often. He will be a transition force which allows his team to get out and run because he adds the ability to be a player who can take the ball from a rebound and immediately start the break. When he does not have the ball in his hands on the break, he runs the floor like a mad man which will surely lead to him getting some easy buckets at the next level because as I mentioned opposing forwards will be hard pressed to keep up with him in transition.
Sekou rebounds the ball well because he plays with a lot of intensity on both the defensive and offensive glass.
Although he does not make his jumpers as much as we would like, he does a good job of making them when he’s given space and has a chance to set his feet. His mechanics are good and give me a lot of optimism that his shot will be a threat and defenses will be stretched out to the three point line due to his ability to be a jump shooter. He has a very quick first step and is very good at attacking closeouts and getting to the rim.
For all the good Sekou does on defense he does a lot of bad from an IQ standpoint which could be due to his general newness to high level basketball, having started the sport at just the age of 12.
From a movement stand point, Doumbouya moves in a herky jerky inefficient style when sliding his feet. This will have to be cleaned up because he will get beaten a lot by the more athletic or crafty players that require as little wasted movement as possible to defend.
Often times Sekou is not where he’s supposed to be when playing man defense and he’s prone to having defensive lapses. He does not seem to be the best communicator on defense as many of his problems can be fixed with good communication with his teammates and keeping his head on a swivel. Sekou has an extremely hard time getting around screens off-ball; he is better on ball but still has problems. This is less apparent due to his extreme athleticism and physical tools that allow him to recover from his mistakes but against the best competition in the world, he may not be able to recover as easily.
On offense Doumbouya has a hard time creating in a half court setting which limits his ability as a scorer at the next level. He will have to work on more advanced dribble moves to create better opportunities for himself in a half court setting. His handle is loose, and his footwork on off the dribble jumpers suggests that he will not be a big self creation player at the next level.
I previously mentioned that he has a knack for attacking closeouts, which is true, however, he is right hand dominant and rarely if ever uses his left hand to convert at the rim. His finishing leaves much to be desired from a craft stand point. It seems that his touch around the rim needs a lot of development especially since he will be a player who will look to get to the rim first and shoot second.
He is a team player who likes to move the ball but he is prone to turning the ball over by throwing lazy, low IQ passes. This will be cleaned up with more experience however, the laziness of his passes will be picked off by NBA defenders.
His shot looks like it will be apart of his game at the next level. However, shooting 28.6% from 3 and barely over 70% from the FT line at 74% this season understandable creates worry that his shot may not be a large part of his arsenal at the next level. Eventually the potential of the shot will have to turn into production.
I can see Sekou hearing his name called anywhere between picks seven and fourteen in this year’s draft. He will be 18 by the time of the draft and won’t turn 19 until the end of the year, his age paired with his tools and potential will land him in this year’s NBA lottery. With the recent success of players such as Draymond Green and Pascal Siakam, teams will be looking to grab the next do it all, swiss army knife like forward.
Although I do not think he will be a star, he will be one of the most valuable players on a contending roster in this draft if his shot translates and he gets enough experience to work out some of his defensive IQ issues.