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Mfiondu Kabengele, Clippers Agree to Rookie Contract Amid NBA Summer League

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 9, 2019

Florida State forward Mfiondu Kabengele (25) reacts in the final seconds of an NCAA college basketball game against Notre Dame in Tallahassee, Fla., Monday, Feb. 25, 2019. Florida State won 68-61. (AP Photo/Phil Sears)
Phil Sears/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Clippers and power forward Mfiondu Kabengele, the 27th overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft, reached a deal on a rookie contract Tuesday. 

Los Angeles shared an image of the Florida State product officially inking his deal:

LA Clippers @LAClippers

Every hooper’s dream. @mfiondu and @terance_mann makin’ it official! ✍🏾 https://t.co/Hd8KjuzvXb

The Brooklyn Nets originally selected Kabengele in the late stages of the first round during the June 20 event at the Barclays Center but then traded his draft rights to the Clippers.

He's coming off a strong sophomore campaign at Florida State. He averaged 13.2 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.5 blocks while shooting 50.2 percent across 37 appearances. His win shares (4.8) ranked 11th in the star-studded ACC behind the likes of Zion Williamson, De'Andre Hunter and RJ Barrett, per Sports Reference.

Kabengele said joining the Clippers alongside former Seminoles teammate Terance Mann was a perfect outcome for fostering personal growth at the next level.

"We can contribute to the culture that you guys already have," he told reporters. "I just know that when it comes to developing talent, the coaching, I just know it's the right spot."

Kabengele possesses the size (6'10'', 256 lbs) and post defense of a traditional power forward, but his long-term upside likely depends on the continued development of his offensive game.

The 21-year-old Canadian has showcased passable post skills and has done well in pick-and-roll situations. But with the modern NBA utilizing the stretch 4 so often, his outside shooting will be a focus during his early years in the league. He shot 37.4 percent on 91 three-point attempts in two collegiate seasons.

Kabengele will likely fight for minutes off the bench as a rookie, but he could become a key building block for the Clippers within a couple of years.

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