2021 NBA Draft Profile: Amar Sylla

Amar Sylla is a 19-year-old Senegalese professional basketball player who was born in Dakar, Senegal. He plays for Filou Oostende of the Pro Basketball League in Belgium. He is a six-foot-nine power forward/center for the Sengelese basketball team.

NBA Draft Profile for Amar Sylla

Amar Sylla – Amateur/Professional Career in Europe

Sylla started his career with Real Madrid B. Real Madrid B is an amateur team in the fourth-tier level of Spanish basketball, but it is also a reserve team for the well-known professional basketball team Real Madrid.

He played for the Spanish team from 2017-19. He last played for Filou Oostende of the Pro Basketball League in Belgium. In the 2019-20 season, he averaged 7.03 points and 5.53 rebounds per game. In the following 2020-21 season, he averaged 8.68 points and 5.61 rebounds per game.

One game that stands out was on May 19 against Proximus Spirou Charleroi. He had 19 points, six rebounds, one block, and one steal in that game. This is what Oostende head coach Dana Gjergja said about Sylla according to Graham Chapple of Peachtree Hoops:

“We’re building a young team with a lot of talent and we’re very happy to sign one of the top prospects in Europe,” said coach Dario Gjergja via ESPN. “I hope to be able to help Amar reach the highest levels — the Euroleague or NBA. In Real Madrid, he played as a center, but I think with us he can become more versatile than that.”

Strengths

He is a good offensive rebounder and cutter. Sylla is also a very good rim protector and has exceptional athleticism. According to NBA Draft Room, he has the ability to get out on the fast break and has tremendous open court quickness for his size. He also has great potential as a defensive player according to Bashir Nasidi of FanSided.

Weaknesses

Sylla is not a very good shooter according to Spencer Pearlman. He is also not very good with his handles and his defensive positioning can be off. According to Bashir Nasidi of FanSided, his defensive IQ is not up to NBA standards. However, he can develop his defensive IQ in the NBA.

He also needs to improve his free throw percentage, which was only 60% last season. Sylla also needs to improve his touch in the paint. He was also only 16-41 on all non-dunk attempts in the halfcourt.

NBA Draft Comparisons

Pascal Siakam. Like Sylla, Siakam was a raw player, that had a lot of potential when getting drafted into the NBA. In fact, in Siakam’s rookie season, he averaged only 4.2 points and 3.4 rebounds per game.

The Cameroon-native power forward had to work on his game and the Raptors had to be patient with him. Siakam, though, was able to accomplish great things in the NBA. He won the NBA Most Improved Player award and won the NBA championship with the Raptors in 2019. Siakam also made the NBA All-Star Game and All-NBA Second Team in 2020.

This is not saying Sylla will accomplish this, but Siakam was drafted 27th by Toronto. Nobody thought he would be the player he is today. However, anyone who drafts Sylla may need to wait for him to develop.

He would benefit from getting playing time in the NBA or the G-League, the latter Siakam had to do in his rookie year. The other similarity is that both Sylla and Siakam played basketball at a late age according to Jonathan Givoy of ESPN. Sylla was around 14 years old when he started basketball. The 2020 NBA All-Star Game starter, Siakam, did not play basketball until he was nearly 18 years old.

NBA Draft Predictions

Mid Second-Round Pick

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