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2018-19 Player Preview: Bismack Biyombo is back in purple and teal

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The former lottery pick is back in Charlotte for his second stint after stops in Toronto and Orlando.

NBA: Preseason-Charlotte Hornets at Boston Celtics Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Bismack Biyombo was drafted with the seventh overall pick in 2011 by the Sacramento Kings but was immediately traded to the Charlotte Hornets in a three team deal on draft night. The Conglese center averaged 4.4 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game in four seasons with the Hornets before the team let him walk in 2015. His breakout year came the following season with the Toronto Raptors after he signed a one-year deal with them in the 2015-16 season.

In the 2016 postseason, Biyombo recorded least 10 rebounds in eight of the Raptors 20 playoff games. This included a 26 rebound performance against the eventual NBA champion Clevland Cavaliers in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals. I’m convinced that this game is what led to Biyombo’s four-year, $68 million deal from the Orlando Magic the following summer. However, he hasn’t been able to produce like he did in the 2016 playoffs since, and as such his current contract is one of the worst in the NBA.

Fast forward to 2018 and Biyombo finds himself back with the Hornets once again. He was traded from Orlando to Charlotte as part of a three team deal. Despite his return to the team, Biz comes back to a different frontcourt situation. With Cody Zeller being the likeluy starting center, Biyombo will be fighting for backup center minutes with Willy Hernangomez and Frank Kaminsky. So far, Hernangomez has the edge, but if he Zeller, or even Kaminsky were to get injured at some point, the Hornets would have a center with a lot of defensive ability and experience.

Biyombo is a really good rim protector and is capable of getting at least 10 rebounds when given the playing time. He is also great at finishing at the rim as he shot over 71 percent last season. However, outside of the paint, he hasn’t been able to refine his game to the point where he is a good floor spacing big man. In the end, Biz is familiar with playing alongside players like Kemba Walker and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist so his adjustment to Charlotte should be an easy one.

Overall, it is nice to have Bismack Biyombo back in the Queen City. He is an athletic big that will get a chance to contribute, but not right away. Biz is one of those hard working players that turns into a fan favorite. We will see if he can be a good bench contributor for the Hornets again in 2018-19.