June 11, 2019
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (247Sports) -- The 2019 NBA Draft, which will be televised by ESPN, is on Thursday, June 20. Florida State forward Mfiondu Kabengele will hear his name called, by most estimations, at some point during the first round.
NBA.com describes Kabengele as "a long, late-blooming big man with a strong frame, good athleticism, and a budding skill set." His full NBA Draft prospect profile
He participated in the NBA Combine last month and has now done a number of workouts with individual teams, as well as other pre-NBA Draft showcase type events. He has worked out for several of the teams he is projected to in next week's draft.
Here is a look at where recent mock drafts are forecasting Kabengele:
ESPN.com's latest mock draft, released Monday, has Kabengele coming off the board at No. 17 overall to the Atlanta Hawks, a pick they acquired in a trade with the Brooklyn Nets earlier in the week.
"Kabengele made huge strides in his sophomore season, and he is on an impressive trajectory, considering his late-bloomer status," ESPN.com NBA Draft expert Jonathan Givony wrote. "He was able to alleviate the concerns teams had about his medical outlook (he wore braces on both knees all season) by reportedly receiving a clean bill of health at the NBA combine. He has seen his stock rise significantly with some very impressive workouts."
CBSSports.com's latest mock draft, released Monday, has Kabengele going No. 24 overall to the Philadelphia 76ers.
"The Sixers as currently constituted have built their success around Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, but floor-spacing -- in part because of Simmons' lack of scoring punch from the perimeter -- is a legitimate concern. Philly can address that partly by adding a rare entity in Kabengele, a 6-10 power forward who has shot 38.5 percent and 36.9 percent in the last two seasons, respectively, at FSU. He's a floor-spacing big man with a 7-foot-3 wingspan who could operate well with a defensive anchor like Embiid already in place," CBSSports.com NBA Draft expert Kyle Boone wrote.
SI.com's latest mock draft, released Tuesday, has him coming off the board at No. 19 overall to the San Antonio Spurs.
"Kabengele has been a notable riser over the course of workouts and appears to be sitting pretty safely in the first round," SI.com NBA Draft expert Jeremy Woo wrote. "He’ll turn 22 this summer, but he’s big, athletic, shoots with touch, and was exceptionally productive scoring and rebounding on a per-minute basis at Florida State. He’s not much of a passer and is strictly a high-energy guy who finishes plays, but there’s plenty of utility in that. Following his medical at the combine, teams seem to feel comfortable about the state of his knees, which had been a concern after he wore bulky braces all season. The Spurs have two first-rounders and need to beef up their frontline, and this could be a good spot to do it."
The Los Angeles Times released a new mock draft Tuesday. They have the FSU standout going to the Cleveland Cavaliers with the No. 26 overall selection.
"Lots to like here — size, length and skill. He’s still quite raw," Dan Woike of the LA Times wrote.
The Detroit News released a new mock draft Tuesday. Kabengele is at No. 27 overall to the Nets.
"The Nets could use a couple of pieces in the draft — unless they hit the jackpot in free agency — and could have a vastly different roster by the time July roles around. Until then, they’ll just try to accumulate talent in the draft and figure the rest out later," Rod Beard of the Detroit News wrote.
NJ.com released a mock draft on Monday in which they have a few blockbuster trades - Anthony Davis to the Celtics. That trade has the No. 14 pick swapping hands from the Celtics to the New Orleans Pelicans, who are forecasted to take Kabengele at No. 14 overall.
"This pick sort of depends on if the Pelicans view [No. 1 overall projected pick Zion] Williamson as a center or a power forward, but they should consider Kabengele anyway after the Davis trade. Kabengele is a fast-riser with an intriguing skills package and high ceiling, especially considering he was a late-bloomer. The Pelicans don’t have any actual centers of note currently on the roster, either," Zack Rosenblatt wrote.
One unexpected twist found in checking out new mock drafts is that Forbes.com does not have Kabengele in their latest mock draft, which was released Monday. But they do have Terance Mann, going No. 29 overall to the San Antonio Spurs.
"Mann would be insurance behind Dejounte Murray, who is coming back from a torn ACL, and would step in as a necessary perimeter defender for a team that lost the face of its defense last year with the trade of Kawhi Leonard. That alone would give Mann a role in Gregg Popovich's rotation. Still, while Mann flourishes in the paint, his offensive game needs work from everywhere else. If he finds a long-distance shot, the Spurs will have another late first-round gem," Mock draft pick and analysis by Forbes contributor Rob Wolkenbrod.
So far nine players have been invited to the NBA Draft Green Room. Around 20 total are expected to be invited before next Thursday. At this point in time, Kabengele has not yet been invited.