Sekou Doumbouya Looking To Fit In With Lakers – Basketball Insiders

Sekou Doumbouya Looking To Fit In With Lakers – Basketball Insiders

It was type of a whirlwind summer time for Sekou Doumbouya.

He had simply completed his second season within the NBA with the Detroit Pistons and had proven glimpses of the participant they believed they had been getting after they drafted him at No. 15 within the 2019 NBA draft. When he was drafted, he grew to become the youngest energetic participant within the NBA on the time and it was at all times clear that he was going to be a challenge.

The Pistons went by a administration change, nonetheless, and because it so usually occurs, new administration desires to place their very own touches on the crew and typically clear home particularly in terms of a rebuilding crew like Detroit.

Longtime NBA govt Ed Stefanski had been accountable for basketball operations in his function as senior advisor to the proprietor, and he was the one who drafted Doumbouya. In the summer time of 2020, the Pistons employed Troy Weaver as a full-time common supervisor working below Stefanski. Weaver instantly set to work wheeling and dealing and shaping the roster in accordance together with his imaginative and prescient.

One of these strikes was giving up on Doumbouya this previous summer time. In a wage clearing transfer, the Brooklyn Nets traded DeAndre Jordan and a number of draft picks to the Pistons for Doumbouya and Jahlil Okafor. The Pistons by no means had any plans to maintain Jordan and so they instantly purchased out his contract.

On the opposite finish of the deal, Doumbouya grew to become the odd man out in Brooklyn. The Nets introduced him to camp and he performed in a single preseason recreation placing up a powerful stat line of 11 factors in 12 minutes on 100% (3-3) taking pictures from the sphere. But needing to get all the way down to the NBA roster most of 15 gamers in addition to lower down their luxurious tax invoice, the Nets shipped Doumbouya off to the Houston Rockets who instantly lower him regardless of being in full-blown rebuilding mode.

Despite three groups having given up on Doumbouya in in regards to the span of a month, there was no query about his expertise. He wasn’t a free agent for lengthy because the Los Angeles Lakers signed him to a two-way contract quickly after he was lower by Houston. A foot harm triggered him to overlook the primary month of the season and the Lakers lower him as they wanted speedy assist as a consequence of a short-handed roster due to accidents and league well being and security protocols.

The Lakers continued to watch his progress, nonetheless, and as soon as he was healed and able to return to the court docket, they re-signed him final month after opening up a two-way contract spot by slicing Jay Huff. They saved in touch with him your complete time he was rehabbing and that, mixed with the crew’s latest monitor file of discovering younger expertise had been the primary the reason why Doumbouya initially selected to sign up LA.

“It was the organization, that’s the first thing that I kept in my head,” Doumbouya instructed Basketball Insiders. “They got a great organization with great people, great players down there and a great staff. They have the formula to grow as a player and as a human being. My decision was pretty fast, pretty quick.”

Like many gamers who got here from abroad, Doumbouya first began taking part in skilled basketball when he was a teen. When he was 15-years-old, he signed a contract with Poitiers Basket 86 in France’s second-highest degree skilled league, Ligue Nationale de Basket (LNB) Pro B. After two years, he would change to Limoges CSP of the LNB Pro A, France’s highest-level skilled league.

His performances and expertise had been sufficient to get him on the radar of NBA scouts and after spending 2018-19 with Limoges, he made himself eligible for the NBA draft. His two years in Detroit had been something however constant. He bought off to a gradual begin at summer time league with a hamstring harm and he suffered a concussion throughout coaching camp that saved him out additional.

His rookie season in Detroit was up and down. He spent the vast majority of the primary half of the season within the G League with the then Grand Rapids Drive, however by the second half of the season, he was out and in of the Pistons beginning lineup with a number of double-digit scoring video games.

Doumbouya’s taking part in time decreased in his second season with the Pistons and he struggled to seek out consistency on the court docket. By the tip of the season, he was the longest-tenured participant on the roster and it was evident that new administration needed to begin recent. He admitted that it took a while to get used to the NBA recreation after taking part in in France, and he’s grateful for what he realized in Detroit.

“The pace and the physicality I had to get used to,” Doumbouya stated. “But I learned a lot of things. I learned how to be ready. You don’t know what’s going to happen, you’ve got to be ready every time. You don’t know when your name is going to be called. You stay ready and be focused because you never know.”

Staying prepared is what he’s been doing and what he’ll proceed to do till the Lakers ought to name his quantity. As a two-way contract participant, he’s been assigned to the Lakers G League affiliate, the South Bay Lakers, and that’s the place he’s stayed since re-signing with the crew final month. He performed in two video games with the Lakers again in November earlier than his foot harm however he hasn’t been referred to as up since.

He’s been placing within the work with South Bay although. His skill-set is in contrast to some other participant on the South Bay roster. He’s performed each energy ahead and heart and he’s proven the power to begin the break off the rebound. He can deal with the ball in transition and his decision-making on the break has been superb. Not solely can he go the size of the court docket and rating, he could make the proper reads and discover open teammates in transition. He’s additionally proven off a pleasant contact from three-point vary and above-average ending means across the rim.

His G League stats could not bounce off the web page (6.7 factors per recreation, 4.9 rebounds, 35.4 % from the sphere, 21.6 % from three-point vary), however these stats don’t inform the entire story. But it’s not his offensive recreation that he’s most thrilled about. Should the Lakers want his providers sooner or later in the course of the season, it’s the opposite finish of the court docket the place he’s assured he can take advantage of influence.

“My defense, just a lot of energy defensively,” Doumbouya stated. “Everybody knows we [the Lakers] need a lot of defense up there. So I know I can bring that. I want to be a good defender for the team and help the team win games in that way.”

Doumbouya actually has the skill-set to be a great defensive participant within the NBA. With South Bay, he’s proven his versatility in guarding a number of positions. He’s ready to make use of his dimension and supply an anchor and shot-blocker within the paint, and he’s bought the foot pace and skill to change out and canopy wings on the perimeter.

In right this moment’s NBA, it’s virtually a requirement for gamers to have the ability to do a number of issues on the court docket on each ends. It’s not sufficient to solely guard on place. It’s not sufficient for an enormous man to solely be capable of play within the paint. Doumbouya is aware of this and it’s one thing he’s centered quite a bit on whereas within the G League.

“If you want to play in the NBA today, you’ve got to do that. You’ve got to be able to defend all of the positions,” Doumbouya stated. “You’ve got to be able to handle the ball, you’ve got to be able to do all of those little things that a point guard does too. You’ve got to be able to.”

It’s unclear whether or not the Lakers have any plans to name Doumbouya as much as the crew anytime quickly. They’re a crew filled with veterans that regardless of their present place within the standings, have had championship aspirations. They’re an older crew although and maybe they might profit from the addition of some youth like Doumbouya.

In any case, he’s going to remain prepared, maintain engaged on his recreation and keep centered on the objectives he’s set for himself for this season. In his eyes, he might be one of many higher defensive gamers within the NBA.

“I want to be a better man, first of all,” Doumboya stated. “Secondly, I want to be the best defensive player I can be. That’s my main focus going forward.”

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