Bismack Biyombo is manhandling his way to a max contract
Bismack Biyombo is going to get paid a lot of money this offseason to catch basketballs. And that is OK. You are fine with this.
You are fine with this because you’ve observed Bismack Biyombo this postseason, and your research indicates that someone has installed a NAS canister in the Toronto Raptors’ Congolese big man.
You’ve noted that the Bismack Biyombo of the 2016 playoffs is definitely still Bismack Biyombo — just a heightened, Terminator 2 version with startling court awareness, timing and liquid metal hook hands (probably).
You may have also noticed that this new Biyombo holds Kevin Love’s eternal soul in a locket around his neck:
This is peak Biyombo — a thing we didn’t realize was a, uh, thing before the start of the Eastern Conference Finals. Now, four games and 49 rebounds later, we must come to terms with some statutes of the new Biyombo world order, namely:
That last part is crucial, because rest assured, like they will with his teammate DeMar DeRozan in a few short weeks, some team is going to take a chance and give Biyombo near-max-deal cash. Here’s why:
This is the hook: the utterly profane domination Bismack’s enjoyed on the boards since entering the playoffs.
So far, the 23-year-old’s pulled down 174 rebounds through 18 games. The next highest count? Steven Adams with 136.
Is it sustainable? No. Does it look sexy on paper? Absolutely. And moreover, the numbers Biyombo’s putting up are startlingly reminiscent of another board-grabber who’s cashed out recently. Which leads us to:
When all of this is over and Biyombo is making Diddy money off a hot playoff run, he owes Tristan Thompson three dozen chocolate covered strawberries. Or whatever he believes symbolizes a lifetime of rich harvests.
Because the four-year, $82 million deal Thompson signed in 2015 set the table for any and all figures a front office will have to consider before approaching Biyombo, who has a player-option he’ll certainly exercise after season’s end. When he does opt out, Biyombo will have a sheet of recent peformances that checks many of the same boxes Thompson spun into existence with his 2015 playoff explosion, which pushed the Cavs’ role player over the top into franchise cog status.
Through 18 games, Biyombo’s averaging almost three more rebounds per 36 minutes in the playoffs than Thompson did before earning his contract. Couple that with nearly a 100 percent increase in blocks, and it could be argued that $20 million a year is below market value for an elite young rebounder and with more than capable rim protection skills.
Ah, potential. It all comes back to you, you nebulous weirdo.
Potential is the biggest thing Biyombo has going for him, and it’s the factor that assures he won’t be signing another two-year, $5.7 million contract for the foreseeable future. Biyombo’s shown that, at his best, he’s capable of devouring 25-plus rebounds and shifting the pallor of an entire playoff series with his presence. He’s also shown his willingness and ability to legally adopt LeBron James at the rim, which is nice.
This brings us to the big question: Who is going to pay Biyombo?
[Shoots furtive look at Luke Walton].
Dan is on Twitter. He’s all on Biyomboard.