Earlier today, Bismack Biyombo -- playoff hero, folk legend and man scared of nothing but lions -- appeared on the Fan 590's Andrew Walker show to say some mighty interesting things about his free agency. (Note: quotes were taken from Dave Zarum's piece at Sportsnet.)
Biyombo was asked if he expects to be back in Toronto and he said:
"Honestly, I do," he said, adding that, "We still have some unfinished business. It was so much fun to see the team go from last year to this year making the Eastern Conference finals. Be it would be fun to go even further next season."
Then, to make sure his agent got nice and fired up, Biyombo said:
"Yeah. Things can always be worked out," Biyombo said Monday, "I've said that to my people, I've said that to Masai. When the right time comes I'd be open to figuring something out. At the end of the day it's for fun, not money. It's not always about money. Money is great, but at the same time I ask ‘how much fun am I going to have? The city is great, the team is great, and we're winning."
This is certainly an exciting development for the Raptors (and the fans), if indeed a reasonable "hometown" discount deal can be worked out. Biyombo was great off the bench -- and as a spot starter -- for the Raptors this past season and in the playoffs. His offensive skills are still fairly rough but it was easy to observe his improvement on that end as the season progressed.
By the playoffs Biyombo was able to catch passes, finish in traffic and at times even showed a slightly softer touch around the net. He does not have the footwork and hands of the Raptors' other big man Jonas Valanciunas, but he's not playing with stone fists anymore. Of course, Biyombo's real value lies in his fearsome defensive skills, as he's able to rove the paint with an impressive combination of speed, size and power. Remember: few people on earth can challenge LeBron James at the rim and live.
Biyombo played in all 82 games for the Raptors, averaging 5.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks, while shooting 54 percent from the field in 22.0 minutes per game. For the post-season, Big Bizness tossed in 6.2 points, 9.4 rebounds (including eight +10 rebound games, and one +20 tally), and 1.4 blocks, while shooting 58 percent from the field in 24.1 minutes per game.
The questions still remain though: What's Biyombo worth on the market and what exactly would it take to get him on the Raptors?