Bismack Biyombo's NBA stock has never been higher. The Congolese power forward/center is coming off a spectacular playoffs in which he averaged 6.2 points, 9.4 rebounds (19.8 per 100 possessions) and 1.4 blocks per game. And that 26-rebound night against the Cavaliers, of course.
In a move that everyone saw coming, Biyombo has opted out of the two-year, $5.75 million contract with the Raptors that he signed last offseason, per multiple reports.
Now the 23-year-old enters free agency as one of the most sought-after big men behind Hassan Whiteside and Al Horford (Dwight Howard no longer fits this description). Compounding the demand is a salary cap skyrocketing with money from the NBA's new TV deal.
So just how much could Biyombo get paid, and could the big-hungry Wizards afford him? This from Wizards Insider J. Michael last week:
Bismack Biyombo: He blew up in the playoffs, and he certainly will decline his $3 million player option for next season. In a league where going small is emphasized over size, Biyombo is both. He's 6-9 and is strong enough to play center (listed as a power forward) and has elite shot-blocking ability to protect the rim and he's agile enough to switch out onto guards on pick-and-rolls. Biyombo's value, as a result, has skyrocketed despite not being much of an offensive threat outside of garbage putbacks. He'll cost $15 million to $17 million, one front office exec told CSNmidatlantic.com. That'll price him out of D.C. as long as Gortat ($12 million per) remains. A big with Biyombo's skill set as a backup at center, however, is ideal.
If those projections prove true, Biyombo is looking at earning five to six times his salary from 2015-16. The Lakers, Celtics, Rockets and Bulls are all in the market for a big man this summer and could be serious contenders to lure him away from Toronto.
But Biyombo told a Canadian radio show that he'd consider a discount to return to the Raptors, so there's still hope in the 6.