2023 Mock Draft 2.0: Spurs roll the dice, Hornets win Wembanyama sweepstakes

Brandon Miller - San Diego State v Alabama
Brandon Miller - San Diego State v Alabama / Andy Lyons/GettyImages
20 of 30
Next Slide

. 20. Bilal Coulibaly. player. 169. . Metropolitans 92.

After selecting Amen Thompson earlier in the draft, the Houston Rockets now possess their backcourt of the future and can now focus more on building the supporting infrastructure. The Rockets’ defense was a royal mess this past season, and while adding Thompson to the roster is certainly a step in the right direction, I think the team would be wise to go one step further and add Bilal Coulibaly to the mix.

Coulibaly is far from being a finished product on offense—his ability to put the ball on the floor and create for himself is still quite limited, his shot prep and confidence in shooting spot-up threes can use some work, and his playmaking is very hit-or-miss. But the Rockets already possess a lot of offensive firepower at this point, so the team can afford to be patient with Coulibaly’s development on that end of the floor.

On the other hand, Coulibaly’s perimeter defense is what would get him drafted here, as he debatably has the highest defensive upside of anyone left on the board at 20th overall. He’s lanky enough to defend multiple positions, has good athletic tools, possesses a plus wingspan, moves his feet well, and fights through screens effectively. If he can make some tweaks to his shooting and become efficient from three, he’ll be a fantastic 3-and-D option at this point in the draft.