3 players for the Phoenix Suns to consider on NBA Draft night.
2. Bilal Coulibaly
We all know that a player from Metropolitans 92 in France is going to go first in the draft. His name is Victor Wembanyama, and there is every chance he is going to change the game. But Wemby has a teammate who helped the French outfit get to their version of the finals, and he doesn’t even appear on most draft boards.
That would be Bilal Coulibaly, an 18-year-old who has taken the opportunity to still be playing this at this stage of the year when all American college players are not, so as to try and add to his draft stock. It is difficult to separate the impact Wembanyama is having on the course and just what Coulibaly is capable of, but it is a risk the Suns may want to take and find out.
If Bates is a player who some think the Suns would take, then why not the defensive version and polar opposite of that in Coulibaly? A raw player who will barely shoot, and instead hound opponents when they have the ball. He has a 7’2″ wingspan, and at 6’6″ may not even be finished growing. Take a look at the guy for yourself.
The French league obviously comes with its limitations, but Coulibaly is playing against grown men and professionals, and also shares a locker room with them. How inspired must he be to see a teammate in Wembanyama go first overall, and know that making the league himself is not out of the question at this point.
The Suns could get cute here, and trust that no other team is going to draft Coulibaly, and then invite him to their Summer League roster. That would allow them to also use the pick on another project like Bates. But other teams are sure to do the same, and Coulibaly has the kind of desire on the defensive end to crack coach Vogel’s rotation. An intriguing pick, and potential steal.