When watching 7'5" prospect Sim Bhullar on a basketball court, it's hard not to notice everything that the man does. The Reno Bighorns big -- or massive -- man, is an intimidating presence just due to his sheer size at 7'5", 355 pounds. However, when evaluating talent, Bhullar's case is an interesting one. The Sacramento Kings made Bhullar the first player born of Indian descent to sign with an NBA team, but he didn't make the final roster and he was relegated to the Bighorns, Sacramento's affiliate.
His averages this season have been pedestrian -- 6.6 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.7 blocks -- but it's still interesting to wonder what Bhullar could do in the NBA. Just last night against the Austin Spurs, Bhullar recorded six blocks in 20 minutes of action. The former New Mexico Aggie also had 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting (as in put-back dunks at the rim). The multiple blocks are becoming normal for Bhullar, who has five games blocking four or more shots. The six blocks were impressive, but I couldn't help but notice that Bhullar was missing in almost every half-court possession for Reno. The Bghorns lead the NBADL in points per game (140.9) by a wide margin and play at a very fast pace. This obviously doesn't bode well for Bhullar, who at 355 pounds, has a hard time getting back on a team that usually fires up a shot in the first 10 seconds of the shot clock.
However, Bhullar was usually in position by the time the Bighorns were on defense and he was obviously able to contribute on that end with six blocks. The one thing that does credit Bhullar, even if he plays in a high-tempo offense, is the fact that Reno usually substitutes every few minutes, giving Bhullar enough time to catch his breath.
The 7'5" center is no where near ready for the NBA game. But with the Sacramento Kings taking an interest in Bhullar and letting him develop in Reno, it will be interesting to see how his game develops. The biggest thing is tracking his conditioning and seeing if it's possible to get Bhullar to a place where he can be available on both ends of the floor. His shooting percentages are high (68% from floor, 6-of-6 from free-throw line) and it's obvious that he dominates over most opponents on the court. In short stints, Bhullar is a weapon and can be very helpful. He doesn't even need to jump to record most of his blocks, just loft his hands into the air and wait for a 6'2" guard to try to score over him. There are those flashes shown by the Bighorns center that make one wonder what he would be like on the NBA court. What could Bhullar do if he's tossed into an NBA game merely for defensive purposes? It's a question we might have to ponder for a while, but a season or two in the D-League could bode well for Bhullar's career if he keeps working at his craft.