Some Intel on Trail Blazers Two-Way Center Ibou Badji
Wisconsin Herd head coach Chaisson Allen provides insight into what the Blazers have in Badji.
LAS VEGAS — Even deep in blowouts, Ibou Badji has yet to play a minute this season for the Trail Blazers. The Senegalese center, who came up in the NBA Academy Africa development program and played professionally in Spain for three seasons before going undrafted in June, signed a two-way contract with Portland last month after spending training camp and the beginning of the G League season with the Wisconsin Herd.
Badji has been with the Blazers for about a month and has been practicing and getting integrated into the organization. He isn't close to ready to play, but the 7-foot-1 profiles as exactly the sort of high-upside swing this front office has favored since taking over a year ago.
In a December 2020 scouting report he wrote in his previous job as a draft analyst with ESPN, Blazers assistant GM Mike Schmitz likened him to a Javale McGee, Mitchell Robinson or Hassan Whiteside-type athletic, rim-protecting center. And in seven games in the G League, he blocked 4.2 shots per 36 minutes.
I spoke with Herd head coach Chaisson Allen on Tuesday at the G League Winter Showcase to get a sense of what Badji is and what he could be from someone who's coached him and seen him up close.