Detroit Pistons: Getting to know Sekou Doumbouya

(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

With the 15th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, the Detroit Pistons selected Sekou Doumbouya from France. Born in Guinea, Doumbouya is the first international player taken in the 2019 draft.

The Detroit Pistons elected to take a power forward with their first pick in the 2019 draft. On the surface, this may seem strange. With Blake Griffin in the starting lineup and Thon Maker waiting behind, it would seem the Pistons are covered at the four. But less than a day before the draft, the Pistons moved on from Jon Leuer, and suddenly, the Pistons are not as deep at the position as they were. Enter Sekou Doumbouya, a shooting big man who can move more than his size would reflect.

Actually, Doumbouya is almost a stretch-four. He has the agility of a small forward, but the size of a power forward. He is billed at 6’9″ and 230 pounds, but even more impressive is his nearly 7-foot wingspan. His size is comparable to the newly-vacated Leuer. With some added strength, he will be a solid rebounding counterpart to Andre Drummond.

Offensively, Sekou enjoys success on quick isolation shots. With the professional team in Limoges, France, Doumbouya shot 50% from the floor. He is most comfortable on a quick pivot jump shot in the paint. He is also a decent three-point shooter (39%), especially from the corners. He is quick in transition and will spread the floor.

Doumbouya does have some work to do defensively. He is active underneath the rim, but has struggled the further out he goes. With his size and speed, though, he will turn into a natural defender. The more defensive rebounds he can grab, the more points in transition will follow.

What does this mean for the Pistons’ depth chart? Doumbouya will compete with Thon Maker for the backup power forward spot behind Griffin. Maker’s experience will likely keep him as the first option, but Doumbouya should be close behind. He is a raw player, having only been playing since he was 13, and Dwane Casey likes such projects. Doumbouya will be a nice complement to Drummond when Griffin takes a rest.

Analyzing the trade of Jon Leuer for Tony Snell. dark. Next

At this time, it is hard not to think of other international players drafted halfway through the first round. Most notably, Giannis Antetokounmpo, who went in the exact same draft slot the Pistons took Doumbouya.  Hopefully, the Detroit Pistons found a similar fit in Sekou Doumbouya. Many had Sekou projected to be selected around 11th overall, and the Pistons landed him at 15th.