The Charlotte Hornets have been mired in mediocrity for awhile, resulting in several picks at the back end of the lottery. Most players available in this range are expected to be solid yet unspectacular pieces, but there are always a few prospects that provide a chance for big upside. One of those prospects this year is Sekou Doumbouya, should he drop a few spots further than expected.
Standing reach: 8’11.5”
Weight: 231 pounds
Strengths: Physical tools, defensive skill set, offensive upside
Sekou Doumbouya has an athletic profile that makes scouts salivate. He’s tall, long, athletic, and fluid. Those tools are most apparent right now on the defensive end. He can play the passing lanes and get up for blocks both as a primary defender and from the help side. He averaged 1.7 steals and 1.1 blocks per-40 minutes across all competitions for Limoges, and he has the potential to build off those numbers if he fully commits to the defensive end of the floor.
Offensively, Doumbouya is more of a work in progress, but there are flashes. He shows potential as an outside shooter, shooting 34.3% from three and 79.3% from the free throw line in league play. His form looks pretty good on the catch and he can even dribble into pull-ups at times. His handle isn’t pretty, but it’s effective at his size. It’s very Pascal Siakam-ish. He can grab and go off defensive rebounds and attack the rim in transition. He didn’t consistently display his passing chops, but he does show good vision on occasion.
The flashes Doumbouya shows on both ends of the floor are even more tantalizing when you consider how young he still is. He won’t turn 19 until December, making him one of the youngest draft prospects in recent memory.
Question marks: Fundamentals, focus
For all of Doumbouya’s talent, he’s a bit lacking in fundamental skills. His shooting form looks good, but it’s not consistent and he shoots with a little too much arc. His handle works, but it’s sloppy. Defensively, he fouls too much.
Doumbouya also has issues with his focus and energy level. His rebounding numbers aren’t quite as high as you’d like to see. According to ESPN, “[Doumbouya] is inconsistent with his energy levels. [He] imposes his physical gifts on the game some nights, yet looks lethargic and uninterested others. [His] level of focus wavers.”
Sekou Doumbouya is frequently mocked just ahead of the Hornets, but you never know what will happen when the real bullets start flying. Doumbouya has tons of talent and could bring a lot of excitement to Charlotte if he maximizes his potential.