Leandro Bolmaro, Guard, FC Barcelona (Spain)
- 6’7” (6’8” wingspan), 180 lbs, 19 years old, from Córdoba, Argentina
- 2019-2020 season: 22 games played, 17.6 minutes per game, 8 points per game, 1.7 rebounds per game, 2.5 assists per game, 1.3 steals per game, 42.4% field goal percentage (27.9% from three), 67.6% free throw shooter
- ACCOLADES: Won Silver Medal with Argentina’s Under-17 National Team at the FIBA South American Under-17 Championship, played on 2018 World Team at Nike Hoop Summit
- ADVANCED STATS STRENGTHS (per Tankathon): Steals (2.3 per 36), Assists (5.2 per 36)
- ADVANCED STATS WEAKNESSES (per Tankathon): True Shooting Percentage (50.5%), Turnovers (3.6 per 36), Effective Field Goal Percentage (48.4%)
- CURRENT BIG BOARD RANKINGS: 33rd (Tankathon), 29th (The Ringer), 28th (CBS Sports), 21st (ESPN)
Bolmaro, like most players who enter the draft from overseas, is a bit of a mystery. He’s an extremely talented passing guard who also has a knack for forcing turnovers on the defensive end. Bolmaro spent the 19-20 season splitting time with the Barcelona senior team and reserve team.
Bolmaro’s stats jumped with the reserve B team where he averaged 14.9 points per game, 2.7 rebounds per game, 3.6 assists per game, and 1.8 steals per game in 26.3 minutes per game while appearing in 9 games. At just 19, it was clear Bolmaro’s game had to mature a bit to compete with the bigger players in the EuroLeague.
Players from overseas are always more of a mystery due to the lack of general film on them compared to those who play in the NCAA. International players are also scouted differently due to their competition level, as it is difficult to compare La Liga and EuroLeague to the NCAA.
Still, Bolmaro’s raw talent makes him an intriguing prospect in this years draft.
What he does well
There isn’t a pass that Bolmaro can’t make. His vision transcends his age, as he’s able to see passing lanes that most guards can’t. On top of his vision, he’s able to make reads quickly to stay a step ahead of the defense. He has great ball-handling skills, able to dribble around defenses to set up open players or easy shots for himself. He has great control of his body and is able to confuse defenses with a variety of change-of-pace moves.
Bolmaro also has great touch on his floaters when driving in the lane, which makes up for his struggles attacking the rim against bigger opponents. Bolmaro also has an extremely high basketball IQ as he’s able to make precise cuts off the ball to set himself up for easy baskets. Defensively he’s great at getting to his rotations and helping out the team defense. Bolmaro is also a high-effort player which allows him to beat opponents to spots, fight over screens and force turnovers.
Where he can improve
Bolmaro’s NBA career will likely depend greatly on if he’s able to develop a consistent jumpshot. He has quirky form on his release, which is partially why his shooting percentages are so low. Without a jumper to threaten the defense with, defenders will back way off of Bolmaro similar to what teams do against Ben Simmons. Unfortunately for Bomaro, he’s not nearly as strong or athletic as Simmons is to make up for his lack of a jumper.
Bolmaro is a much more willing 3-point shooter compared to Simmons, but unless he finds a consistent rhythm, it won’t help him much. His poor shooting at the free throw line doesn’t provide much hope that fixing his jumper will be an easy fix.
Bolmaro would be an intriguing fit with the Grizzlies. The Grizzlies are set at the point guard position with Ja Morant and Tyus Jones, along with a glut of two-guards in Dillon Brooks, De’Anthony Melton, Grayson Allen, John Konchar and *technically* Marko Guduric. Minutes open up should Melton sign a massive offer sheet with another team, but it’s no guarantee Bolmaro would be deserving of those minutes with the other guards on the roster.
Still, the passing ability in a backcourt composed of Ja Morant and Bolmaro would certainly be fun to watch.
Bolmaro’s scouting report reminds me a lot of another Barcelona guard from a little over 10 years ago. Ricky Rubio was a Spanish phenom who was a great facilitator and defender but lacked a jumper and elite scoring ability. That didn’t stop Rubio from going 5th overall in the 2009 draft. Rubio has carved out a solid career as a serviceable point guard, but hasn’t quite lived up to the hype surrounding him back in 2009. His career arc could be why more people are bearish on Bolmaro. With his questionable upside and the Grizzlies set at the guard position, I don’t think there’s any chance Bolmaro puts on Beale Street Blue.
Bolmaro is off the board when the Grizzlies pick at 40th overall, but the Grizzlies would pass should he fall.
Stats provided by sports-reference.com