NBA Draft Player Profile: Bilal Coulibaly
Jun 12, 2023, 2:00 PM | Updated: Jun 13, 2023, 10:22 pm
With the 2023 NBA Draft is about 10 days away, it’s time to look at some prospects that will be hearing their names called at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on June 22nd.
The Sacramento have the 24th overall pick this time around, thanks to a remarkable 2022 season that saw the Kings make the playoffs for the first time in 17 years. After drafting All-Rookie First Team forward Keegan Murray (fourth pick) last summer, Sacramento will look to build off a revitalized unit by hitting on this year’s selection as well.
But what type of player does the Kings need to add to a team that just enjoyed its first NBA Playoff experience in nearly 20 years?
Over the next week or so, Sactown Sports 1140 will provide you with profiles and players expected to be on the board near the Kings’ 24th pick, and some that the team should consider trading up for next Thursday.
So without further ado, let’s dig into some film.
Bilal Coulibaly | SG/SF | Metropolitans 92
2022-23 stats: 11.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.6 steals, 52.8% FG, 34.2% 3PT, 72.5% FT
ESPN Mock Draft: 21st
In a draft class loaded with talent on the wings, Frenchman Bilal Coulibaly is steadily rising up the draft boards of various teams. Despite not working out for teams in the draft process, he could be a late-lottery pick this month.
Coulibaly continues to play a key supporting role as Metropolitans 92 competes in the Pro A playoffs, scoring 15 points on 5-for-8 shooting in Tuesday’s semifinal win against ASVEL. His production has been up and down, but it would appear he’s on track to stay in the draft, having shown enough flashes alongside Wembanyama to justify a first-round selection. However, his team’s success has left Coulibaly unable to work out for teams stateside, which puts him in a bit of flux, at least for the time being.
Paired with the presumed first overall pick Victor Wembanyama, Coulibaly has shown flashes of high-upside potential, helping Metropolitans 92 reach the LNB Pro A Finals.
How would Coulibaly fit with the Kings?
Sacramento needs to find more 3 & D options on the wing and Coulibaly fits that to a tee.
The gifted 18-year-old stands at 6’7″, with a 7’3″ wingspan, allowing him to be pest on the defensive end. He also has fluid movement and quick feet laterally to stay in front of his opponent. The Frenchman also uses instinct and angles to swipe the ball away, often taking it to the rim in transition.
While his three-point shot will need to keep improving (sub-35%), Coulibaly has shown a willingness to take the open corner 3’s when the opportunity rises. He’s improved steadily as a ball handler, able to complete some dribble moves that make him impossible to stay in front.
Crucial 16-point performance for Bilal Coulibaly to help Mets 92 clinch a spot in the French league final with a Game 4 win over ASVEL. The gifted 18-year old wing is showing lottery level ability as the season moves on. pic.twitter.com/VitmD3mr1I
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) June 4, 2023
Here’s the catch: He’s unbelievably raw still.
Not turning 19 until after the draft, Coulibaly is seen as a high-upside prospect that will take years to develop. Almost every aspect of his offensive arsenal needs to be worked on if he wants to stay stateside long-term. Particularly his dribbling, often clumsy and easily accessible for defenders.
His efficiency needs to improve, especially when attacking the rim. Often times he’ll go barreling down the lane with no rhyme or reason whatsoever, leading to a bad shot or turnover.
Regardless, his current state is a valuable defender on the wing, making him an ideal candidate for the Kings’ young core. Teams will be hoping he can be more than that down the line, with the ceiling of an All-Star in his sights. A closeout semifinal performance of 16 points, four assists, two rebounds suggests that it’s a possibility in the NBA.
NBA Offseason Schedule
- Thursday, June 22– 2023 NBA Draft
- Friday, June 30– Free Agent negotiating period begins
- Thursday, July 6– Free Agents can begin signing deals
- Friday, July 7–Monday, July 17– NBA Summer League in Las Vegas
- August TBD– 2023-24 NBA regular season schedule release
- Late September – Training camp begins