The Portland Trail Blazers owned the rights to 57th overall draft pick Tanguy Ngombo, but it appears that the 21 year old freak athlete is actually a 26 year old veteran. On Saturday, the league he played in confirmed that he is, in fact, much older than NBA officials were led to believe.
The Qatar League star looked like a man among boys this year, and now we know why: his passport, which lists him as 21 years old, is actually a fraud. Following the draft, reports began flying in about a discrepancy in Ngombo’s listed age and his actual age.
Rumors began swirling that the 6-5 small forward was actually born July 18, 1984, which would make him 27 years old in less than a month.
On Saturday, the Qatar League even listed Tanguy Ngombo’s birthday as July 18, 1984, making it appear that, in Johnathan Givony’s words, there’s no “way around this now.”
Portland received the rights to the no. 57 overall pick in a deal that sent Rudy Fernandez and the rights to 2007 draft pick Petteri Koponen to Dallas. The rights to the no. 26 overall pick (Jordan Hamilton) also came to Portland in the trade. The Trail Blazers then sent Andre Miller, a future second round pick, and the rights to Hamilton to Denver in exchange for PG Raymond Felton.
Although Portland owned the 57th overall pick after Dallas traded it, they were supposed to give the rights to that pick (who would up being Ngombo) to the Minnesota Timberwolves. That’s why Ngombo was the selection, and not someone who the Trail Blazers actually wanted.
So chalk this mistake up to the Wolves, not the Trail Blazers front office.
Because Ngombo is apparently 26 years old, he cannot actually be drafted, making the 57th overall pick invalid. If he is ruled ineligible – which should certainly happen now – no compensation will be given for the invalid pick. Players over 22 years old cannot be drafted into the NBA — instead, they’re considered free agents.
- Portland traded Rudy Fernandez to Dallas.
- Rudy is “happy” to join the NBA Champions.
- Blazers draft Duke PG Nolan Smith 21st overall.
- Was Smith the right pick?
- Andre Miller to Denver, Raymond Felton to Portland.
- Portland nabs sharpshooter Diebler 51st overall.
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For icedjamb.com, Max covers the Portland Trail Blazers, Oregon Ducks Football, and Pacific University Athletics. Max also writes for OregonSportsNews.com, covering all sports in the great state of Oregon.