Abdoulaye N’Doye, Guard, France
- 6’7”, 7’2” wingspan, 205 lbs., 22 years old
- 2019-20 season (Cholet, LNB Pro A League): 25 games played, 30.5 minutes per game, 10.1 points per game, 4.2 rebounds per game, 4.0 assists, 1.3 steals per game, 52.3% from the field (44.1% from three), 75.3% from the line.
- ADVANCED STATS STRENGTHS: 3-point percentage (44.1%), Steals (1.3)
- ADVANCED STATS WEAKNESSES: 3-point rate (.197), Scoring (10.1 points in 30.5 minutes).
- CURRENT BIG BOARD RANKINGS: Tankathon (46), The Athletic (61), ESPN (48), CBS (65)
The Memphis Grizzlies are going to enter a quagmire on the wings this offseason. De’Anthony Melton and John Konchar are entering restricted free agency, with the latter in line for a more lucrative deal. Josh Jackson is going into free agency, but the level of interest is questionable, given his hierarchy within the rotation in the bubble. There is likely uncertainty around Marko Guduric’s future, who isn’t a rotation fixture and has $3M guaranteed next season.
If they miss out on their free agents, they may look into the draft to shore up their wing rotation. Insert Abdoulaye N’Doye.
The 6’7” prospect has great size on the perimeter, as he handled a lot of point guard responsibilities with Cholet. In addition, he has a plus-7 wingspan, which has to be enticing for any NBA team. Combining that with his budding offensive game makes him an intriguing second-round prospect in this year’s draft.
What He Does Well
Where N’Doye shines is his playmaking and defensive upside at his size.
This past season, N’Doye averaged 4 assists in 30 minutes per game — sample size of 25 games — as he shared point guard responsibilities with Michael Stockton, John’s son. In addition, he finished in the 85th percentile in pick-and-roll offense, generating 0.95 points per possession. His size is a clear advantage there, as he can make plays over the top of defenders, and he’s developed more of a playmaking acumen with more risky plays:
Seriously impressive wrap pass in the PNR by Abdoulaye N'Doye pic.twitter.com/IZXVsvcWf7— Ben Pfeifer (@Ben_Pfeifer_) May 7, 2020
Abdoulaye N’Doye really takes advantage of being 6’7” with a 7’2” wingspan in every aspect of his game.— NBA Draft Central (@NBADC_) July 22, 2020
Here he just easily passes over the head of the defender to the wide open roller pic.twitter.com/Aw9mg6XRSJ
His defensive potential is massive at the next level. With his huge wingspan, he can potentially switch all over the floor, a commodity in today’s NBA. In the Grizzlies’ system, imagining him on the floor with some sort of combination of Ja Morant, De’Anthony Melton, Kyle Anderson, Brandon Clarke, and Jaren Jackson Jr...mesmerizing.
Where He Needs to Improve
His jumper has improved the past couple seasons. He shot 43% and 60% from 3 on each wing, scored 1.63 points per possession in catch-and-shoot half-court situations (99th percentile), and was in the 86th percentile in spot-up shooting. However, there are still questions regarding his jumper. His shot is slow, and he doesn’t flash any potential as a shooter off the dribble — a vital characteristic for most NBA wings. In addition, he’s a bit apprehensive as a 3-point shooter, as he only attempted 1.4 triples per game this past season.
He will never be asked to be a primary scorer or a 3-point specialist, but this is important for his NBA trajectory. Granted, his defense could reach elite levels that make his slow jumper and hesitant trigger not huge problems. On the other hand, shooting will be his swing skill. It could either transform him into a key role player, or make his NBA career short-lived.
The Fit and Verdict
The fit in Memphis would be nice in theory. He’s a huge guard that can stretch across multiple positions on both sides of the ball, serve as a secondary playmaker, and move well off ball.
He’d likely need a year in the G-League, not just for his own development, but for the Grizzlies to figure out how to probably use him. He played a lot of point guard in his most recent international play, but he doesn’t have the explosiveness or wiggle to handle those minutes at the NBA level. Could he move over to the 2 and 3? Or even serve as a playmaking-4 off the bench? With most of its contracts locked in for next season, the Grizzlies have the luxury to invest in him with the Hustle in order to maximize his skillset down the road on the main roster.
Fit and verdict: A team with multiple picks (3+) will draft him before he could get to Memphis at 40, with the possibility he spends 1 more season in Europe.