One of the more interesting prospects in the 2017 NBA draft, if he doesn’t decide to “drop out” and return to college basketball, is Hamidou Diallo, who is drawing interest from quite a few teams, including the Chicago Bulls, Brooklyn Nets, Indiana Pacers, Utah Jazz, Milwaukee Bucks and the Miami Heat.
Diallo has only a few hours to make a decision on whether he’s staying in the draft, where he’s projected to go in the second round unless someone decides to take a leap of faith on his athleticism and raw skills, or going back to college basketball, where he actually hasn’t played a single game.
What? Yes. Officially coming out of Kentucky, the last time Diallo played a basketball game was for a Connecticut prep school. He did enroll to Kentucky in January but only practices with the basketball team, preferring to test the waters and see what the draft holds for him without “wasting time” on a full season of college basketball, even if it is a first-round draft machine like the Wildcats under John Calipari. Diallo says that it was his choice to stay off the floor in actual games.
According to Calipari, Diallo not showing the league anything, whether in college or in the Draft Combine’s 5-on-5, has made him an even more interesting prospect, possibly making his stock rise. They don’t know. Well, don’t show them. They all like you without watching you. Good. The more you don’t play, the more they like you, the more they’re impressed. If someone takes him in the lottery I will retire. Four months, doesn’t play, lottery pick, I’m done. I’m stopping.
Diallo is going the Thon Maker route, only without the age controversy. Teams are intrigued, but aren’t quite sure how to gauge the 6’5 shooting guard out of Queens, New York. He could be quite a steal if taken in the second round, but overall he does seem like a player who’ll need some time before he will make a serious impact in the NBA.