First Look At Leandro Bolmaro

February 17th, 2020

by Alan Lu

Recently, FC Barcelona’s 6-6, 2000-born point forward, Leandro Bolmaro from Argentina has been climbing up draft boards to the point where he is considered to be a first round prospect for the 2020 draft. Therefore, I decided to take the time to watch him play in a Spanish ACB League game against Fuenlabrada that took place on November 3rd, as I was able to see this with thanks to YouTube via mesqueunclub gr.   I chose that game, as this seemed to be the composite match for how he normally fared against players in his league. Here is a breakdown of how he fared on that day, as well as how his game may translate to the NBA.

FC Barcelona's 6-6 point forward, Leandro Bolmaro could potentially be a first round pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.  (Photo: Javier Borrego / AFP7 / Europa Press Sports via Getty Images)
FC Barcelona’s 6-6 point forward, Leandro Bolmaro is a very skilled playmaker that could potentially be a first round pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. (Photo: Javier Borrego / AFP7 / Europa Press Sports via Getty Images)

Leandro Bolmaro is a smart, skilled player that can shoot and pass the basketball, and he excelled at making plays on both ends of the floor. He also played fairly solid defense, and he looked every bit to be the first round prospect that he was billed as advertised.

He showed a decent ability to score on drives to the basket. Bolmaro has a solid first step off the dribble, as he was able to use a quick crossover to score on a smooth layup once, and he also showed off good change of direction skills to score on a smooth runner another time. He also was able to draw a non-shooting foul on a left-handed drive on a separate play. However, he can occasionally struggle to score in traffic, as he also displayed a tendency to have his shots blocked every once in a while.

Also, Bolmaro did a fairly good job of knocking down jumpers to provide floor spacing for his team on offense. He was able to dribble left off of a screen to calmly knock down a pull-up three, and he can make tough long-range shots from beyond the arc.

Plus, he also displayed fairly good playmaking skills. Bolmaro is a savvy point forward that handles the ball well, as he can comfortably bring the ball up while handling heavy ball pressure. He has solid foot speed to quickly dribble the ball up the court, and he is also a good passer off the dribble, as he can find open shooters and make drop off passes in transition to set up scores for his teammates. On one play, he was able to push the ball up the floor off of a steal, and he dribbled the ball up court before throwing a nice pass ahead to a teammate on the break to notch an assist. Bolmaro also is an unselfish player that will make the extra pass to keep the ball moving, and he will also patiently probe the defense and keep his dribble alive to set up scoring chances for his teammates. He also moves well off the ball, and he is an agile player that can quickly get open on off-ball motion plays. His lone turnover came when he dribbled up court once, but he exposed the ball a bit too much to his defender, as he had the ball poked away from him that time.

On the downside, he did not grab a rebound in this game. Both of the teams shot the ball very well and there were not a whole lot of misses, and he was not able to collect a board when he was on the floor.

Bolmaro also showed off decent defensive skills when he was on the court. He is an active help defender that will play passing lanes to get steals and deflections, and he was able to run in to intercept a pass to get a steal in the fourth quarter of this contest. He also showed good lateral footwork to stay in front of an opposing ball handler, as he managed to poke a ball away to force a shot clock violation due to possessing good length and agility to do so.

He also is a smart, alert defender that will tend to be in good position to make plays on that side of the ball. On one play, he managed to stay with a cutter on a misdirection play, which prevented his opponent from getting open underneath the basket. He also is a tenacious defender that would quickly fight through screens. On one play, he would go to defend his man out on the perimeter, and then he changed directions to fight through a screen to stay with his man, as he then contested a pull-up jumper from just inside the arc to force the miss. Every once in a while though, he can struggle to stay in front of his man or make timely rotations, which can lead him to commit fouls and allow scores. He also has a tendency to commit reach-in fouls due to over-aggressiveness.

Overall, Leandro Bolmaro is a smart, skilled playmaker that has a variety of skills that could prove to be useful at the next level, and he is a solid facilitator who can run the point or play off the ball. While his jump shot has been a bit inconsistent across different leagues this season, he has shot the ball well in limited minutes in the Spanish ACB League, and he can really aid a team on offense when his jump shots are going in. Right now, he may be a good value pick for an NBA team in the late first to the second round range of the 2020 draft, as he could end up thriving as a role player similar to Utah Jazz’s veteran guard, Jordan Clarkson in the association.

Other Notes:

Fuenlabrada’s 6-10, 1999-born center, Osas Ehigitor from Spain also was able to make some solid plays for his team in their double-digit loss to FC Barcelona. He is an athletic, energetic big man that will compete hard on both ends of the floor, and he could project into a defensive specialist role in the NBA if he ends up making his way over there in the future.

Though he didn’t look to score very often, he was very efficient in making in his shots in this game, as he excels at scoring on hustle plays as well as in the post. Ehigitor rolled to the post to get the ball, and he then used an overhead ball fake to score around the basket while drawing the contact on that play. Plus, he also managed to score on a strong put back dunk after leaping up to get an offensive rebound another time.

On the downside, he was quite turnover prone on offense. For the positives, Ehigitor would often set screens for his teammates and roll off of them, and he was able to set a good on-ball screen once that enabled his teammate to drive and dish off of a screen to set up a score around the basket. Ehigitor also threw a timely pass to a cutter out on the perimeter once to set up a scoring chance for his teammate. Hoewver, after diving for a loose ball on the ground, he was called for traveling when trying to pass due to shuffling his pivot feet when trying to get up off the ground. On a separate play, he was called for setting a moving screen that led him to commit an offensive foul and a turnover that time.

Though he didn’t grab many rebounds in this match against FC Barcelona, Ehigitor will actively crash the glass to get offensive boards for his team, and he also managed to bat a ball off the rim as he tipped it out to a teammate to help his team get a defensive board another time. However, Ehigitor will need to improve his rebounding techniques, as he tended to be called for committing over the back fouls when going for defensive boards in this contest.

Ehigitor also played adequate defense in this game. He is a fairly active help defender that was able to block a shot when defending in the post to a teammate due to possessing good length, leaping ability, and timing. He also showed good feet and agility to defend out on the perimeter, and can be an impactful defender when he is focused. He would hedge out onto screens and then get back to his man in the post, as he would tend to cut off penetration to prevent opposing ball handlers from being able to quickly get to the hoop. He also was able to stay between his man and the ball when hedging out on a screen before getting back to his man due to good positioning once. He also didn’t go for a ball fake when defending in the post, as he was able to contest the shot to force the miss.

Sometimes though, he can be undisciplined defensively. He would sometimes commit touch fouls due to over-aggressiveness. He also fell down when defending in the post as he lost his balance on a separate play, which led to his teammate to rotate to foul the opponent. Another time, he bit on a pump fake that led to a scramble situation in which his team allowed an opponent to score on a three-point shot. Ehigitor also may need to add more strength. On one play, he got backed down in the post, and he didn’t show much resistance as he allowed his man to score on a turnaround jump hook.

In summary, Osas Ehigitor is an athletic, high-motor big man that could project to be a rim protector at the next level, as he is an agile, fleet-footed big man, but he will also need to expand his skill set offensively, and be a more disciplined rebounder and defender in games. He will need to improve his jump shot and his ability to create shots off the dribble, and he will likely need to expand upon his shooting range. Still, he may have the skills to compete for a backup center role in the NBA whenever he declares for the draft, and if he ends up making his way into the association, he could end up being a rotational big man similar to former veteran center, Ryan Hollins in the league.