Sekou Doumbouya Is The Draft’s Most Intriguing Project
This piece does not reflect the views of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
F, Limoges CSP/France
6’9, 230 lbs
Stats in 2018-19:
27 games, 19.0 MPG, 7.8 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 0.7 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.5 BPG, 48.2 FG%, 34.3 3P%, 79.3 FT%
Where he’ll go:
Doumbouya will likely be a lottery pick.
If there’s a “boom or bust” prospect in this draft, it’s Doumbouya. He’s a smooth, agile athlete with great size and strength. He has elite athletic potential to play above the rim on both ends of the floor and could turn into an impactful multi-position matchup nightmare.
The issue is that Doumbouya is extremely raw. He essentially needs a team to teach him how to play the game at a high level. He’s not only an athlete—he has good footwork and the bones of what could be a good jumper—but he’s a long way from being ready to play regular minutes in the NBA.
It’s easy with project prospects like Doumbouya to get caught up in assuming that time is the only thing standing between them and greatness. While in ideal world that’s true, in reality teams not only have to gauge how long they think it will take prospects like Doumbouya to be playable, but whether they think they’ll be able to get there at all.
In Doumbouya’s case, there’s certainly reason for positivity. His free-throw accuracy demonstrates the bones of a good jump shot and he moves around the court better than a few previous examples of extremely raw but enticing prospects. In addition, his rebounding ability and transition skills might be able to keep him on the court while he works on his growing jumper and takes advantage of his defensive upside.
Getting Doumbouya comfortable playing primarily as a lob threat and cutter might be the best use of his skills right away. He’ll be able to finish over NBA athletes and his foot speed will allow him to get the jump on slower defenders. This type of a role minimizes Doumbouya’s main weaknesses—dribbling and decision-making.
Doumbouya is not a pick without risk, but the potential is sky-high. In a draft lacking a ton of high-upside players he’s certainly worth a lottery flier.