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2019-20 Season Preview: Bismack Biyombo

The center will look to carve out a role in what will likely be his last season in Charlotte.

NBA: Charlotte Hornets at Detroit Pistons Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Bismack Biyombo is on the last year of a four year deal he signed back in the magical summer of 2016. In that fateful summer, the Orlando Magic thought that Biyombo, who had signed a $3 million annual contract with the Toronto Raptors the year prior, was now worth $17 million per year because he was the same player in the playoffs. They inked him to a four year deal ultimately totaling $68 million. In a twist of fate that literally everyone saw coming, Biyombo did not live up to that contract.

He ended up back in Charlotte last summer after the carousel of overpaid big men stopped turning. He rarely played early in the season, but eventually earned some court time as the only backup center that could play any semblance of passable defense. He finished the season averaging 4.4 points and 4.6 rebounds in 14.5 minutes per game across 54 appearances.

Now that the Hornets are rebuilding, there doesn’t seem to be much use for Biyombo on the court. The Hornets are prioritizing youth and sifting for gems that can be a part of the future. Biyombo falls into neither of those categories. He’s 27 years old and hasn’t shown any glimpses of noticeable improvement in the past several seasons. He’s the most likely player to be kept inactive when the roster is healthy and will probably only see the court in garbage time and when the Hornets are dealing with injuries.

Biyombo will be of more use to the Hornets off the court. The Hornets could see is contract as a valuable trade piece as the trade deadline approaches. His expiring deal could be flipped for a bloated contract on a team that’s trying to clear salary cap space for the summer of 2020. On top of that, for all his warts as a player, Biyombo seems like an extremely intelligent person and a very good teammate. He’s a good locker room presence for a team that’s going to be dominated by youth this season.