Is Hamidou Diallo as good as gone to the NBA?
After Diallo’s great showing at the NBA Draft Combine, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that he would be a rare none-and-done player at UK. However, not everyone is convinced that combine performance did anything to help Diallo’s stock.
DraftExpress’ Jonathan Givony told the Lexington Herald-Leader that most NBA teams expected what they saw from Diallo last week, so his stock is still about the same as the deadline to make a decision nears.
“I don’t think he helped or hurt himself,” DraftExpress.com analyst Jonathan Givony told the Herald-Leader. “There really wasn’t much to go on. So I don’t think it really affected anything either way.
“The teams I’ve talked to, they don’t know much about him. I guess it’s just going to come down to these workouts now. Whatever he can show there. Because I don’t know what they’re going to draft him off of right now.”
DraftExpress’ post-combine mock has Diallo going No. 35 overall. If that’s what every NBA team though of him, Diallo would almost certainly be in Lexington next season.
But as we know, it only takes one team to fall in love with you, and there certainly could be a team in the 20-30 range that promises Diallo they’ll draft him. It appears Diallo will leave if he’s assured of being a first-round pick, but based on what Giovany is saying, that assurance may not come.
In a separate interview, Scout’s Evan Daniels also said Diallo is facing a very tough decision that could be closer than we realize.
“I personally believe that it’s 50/50,” Daniels said. “I can’t make a guess on which way he would go. I think it could go either way. Obviously, from a physical standpoint, he tested out in a ridiculous manner. But that’s also what I thought was going to happen. He’s a tremendous athlete, and anybody that’s seen him much over the last two years knows about that.
“I think what the NBA guys don’t know is how good of a player he is, and I think that a lot of them are scrambling at this point to find information on him. He didn’t play, so there’s still some mystery. He’s got a tough decision to make.
“I just don’t see a scenario where the draft gets to 25, and he’s not off the board. That’s my personal opinion.”
In the meantime, Diallo will work out with the Bucks on Tuesday. Based on their recent history, the Bucks may be more willing to take a chance on a guy like Diallo than most teams.
Last year, they drafted Thon Maker at No. 10 overall, and Maker was the same kind boat as Diallo is this year. The Bucks hold the No. 17 pick this year, so if Diallo thinks there’s a good chance of him being the pick there, he’s as good as gone.
While I don’t think Diallo will go that high, I do think he’ll get enough assurance of being a first-round pick to remain in the draft.