Assessing Ismael Kamagate
May 9th, 2022
By Alan Lu
Ismael Kamagate is a very athletic center whom has been playing very well in France’s top league, the French Jeep Elite, and his interior play and tremendous shot blocking skills have put him firmly in the first round conversation for the 2022 NBA Draft. I decided to take the time to watch Paris Basketball’s 6-11 center, Ismael Kamagate play against CSP Limoges in a January 9th game, with thanks to YouTube via Baloncesto Internacional. Here are my thoughts on Kamagate fared in that game, as well as how his game may translate to the NBA.
Ismael Kamagate is an athletic, energetic center that put forth an uneven performance in this game. He was able to make some solid hustle plays on both ends of the floor, but he also didn’t shoot the ball nearly enough, and he really also struggled with turnovers on offense.
Kamagate thrived as a scorer on hustle plays. He was at his best when he would look to score off of cuts and on fast breaks. He ran the floor and caught a lob pass to score on a thunderous, alley-oop dunk early on. He also ran the floor to score in transition while getting fouled another time. Plus, he also made a quick cut to score on a misdirection play.
He also showed off perhaps adequate low post scoring skills. Kamagate showed a knack for drawing fouls upon his defenders to get to the free throw line. However, after using a spin move once, he missed on a sweeping hook shot, as he didn’t show enough shooting touch and he also rushed the shot that time. He also attempted an open, long two-point shot, and he showed fairly good form on the shot, but he missed it short.
On the downside, he was quite turnover prone on offense. For the positives, he would sometimes make fairly good passes out of the post. When handling the ball out of the post early on, Kamagate threw a crisp, wraparound pass to set up a score for a cutter to notch an assist. He also was able to pass off of a roll and out of a double team when posting up, and Kamagate can sometimes get the ball to open shooters. He also would set solid, firm screens, and he was able to help his teammate get an open driving lane to the hoop. On the downside, Kamagate really struggled to handle the ball. He would struggle with his footwork when posting up, as he would tend to shuffle his pivot foot, which would usually lead him to commit traveling violations. He also would sometimes telegraph his passes, which would end up getting intercepted.
Also, Kamagate did a decent job of rebounding the basketball. He was able to haul in multiple boards on both ends of the floor to help his team on the glass. He also played adequate defense in this game. Kamagate would rotate to block shots to help his team protect the paint due to possessing good length, athleticism, and timing. He also managed to intercept an inaccurate lob pass to get a steal, and he also deflected a pass to nearly get another. He also showed that he can effortlessly switch onto opposing pick and roll ball-handlers out on the perimeter. Sometimes though, he and his teammates wouldn’t communicate whom to guard on screens or on fast breaks, and it would put them in scramble situations that would lead them to give up three-point baskets. Other times, he would give up too much space to shooters, which would lead them to score from beyond the arc.
Overall, Ismael Kamagate is an athletic, energetic center that can make high-motor plays to help shore up his team’s interior, but he will need to improve his perimeter skills in the meantime. He will especially need to improve his playmaking skills, but his ability to finish plays above the rim and protect the rim could enable him to be a fairly solid pick for an NBA team in the late first to the second round range of the 2022 draft.
Pacome Dadiet is a 6-7, 16-year old swingman that played for Paris Basketball in this game. He was able to get substantial run in the fourth quarter of this match, and he is fairly athletic player that showed the ability to shoot and defend in games.
He ran the floor to get the ball, and he moved off the ball to make an open long two-point shot from the corner. Dadiet also showed off satisfactory defensive skills. He would stay in front of opposing ball handlers, and he would fight through screens to do so, and he was able to indirectly force them to commit ball-handling turnovers on a couple of occasions.
Overall, Dadiet is a fairly athletic, skilled swingman that could project to be a 3 and D type of role player in the NBA. He will need to be much more aggressive on offense, but he is a talented prospect that showed that he can move off the ball to get open on offense, and he also played tough, pesky defense.
That he is already getting playing time in France’s top professional league is an achievement in itself, and he held his own in this game. He looks to have a decent amount of potential as a prospect for the NBA. Dadiet is a talented player that could definitely be a prospect to watch in the future, and he could end up being a fairly solid role player similar to Rodney Hood in the NBA.
CSP Limoges’ 6-4 point guard, Timothe Crusol had a solid showing in his team’s win over Paris Basketball. He is a pass-first, point guard that will look to set the table for his teammates, and he also played a solid, all-around game to help his team get the victory.
Crusol shot the ball very well, especially from beyond the arc. He showed a knack for moving off the ball to knock down open, spot-up threes off the catch. He excelled at making movement threes. Plus, Crusol also chased down an offensive rebound and then drew free throws on a quick, running put back attempt another time. He didn’t really look to create his own offense very often, but Crusol was efficient as an outside shooter, and he also made good hustle plays on both ends of the floor.
Also, Crusol showed off solid playmaking skills. He is an unselfish player that would throw timely passes to find the open man to notch assists. He also sees the floor well, and he would make an array of passes to set up scores for his teammates. He also can push the ball quickly up the court, or move off the ball to get it before swinging it sharply to find open teammates on offense. He would consistently throw accurate drive and kick passes, and making a couple of threes seemed to really open up passing lanes for him to find open shooters. On the downside, he threw a loopy pass that got intercepted once when doubled in the backcourt. He also dribbled around for too long and seemed to be indecisive another time, as he shuffled his pivot foot and then was called for a traveling violation.
Also, Crusol was able to get a board on each end of the floor to help chip in on the glass. He also chased down his own miss to get an offensive rebound due to making a good hustle play that time. He also played solid defense. Crusol ran in to quickly intercept a pass to get a steal, and he also caught a deflected pass to help his team get another. He would often close out on three-point shooters to force misses.
He also would actively defend opposing ball handlers, as he would fight through screens. He hustled back to contest a drive in transition to force a miss. He also actively defended a cut off the ball to indirectly force a passing turnover from an opponent that tried to fit a ball to his man. On the downside, sometimes he can play too aggressively, as he would sometimes miss on steal attempts, and he ended up committing a reach-in foul as a result of that.
Overall, Timothe Crusol is a skilled point guard that can knock down jumpers, reliably run the point, and effectively defend his position. Crusol has made strides this year, and he was able to get substantial playing time in France’s top league, as he has shown some promising skills on both ends of the floor. Currently, he may project to be a borderline second round candidate for the 2023 draft. He will need to be more assertive on offense, and he will need to show that he can consistently create his own shot, but his ability to make sound decisions on both ends of the court could enable him to project into a backup point guard role in the NBA.