It looks like Hamidou Diallo won’t be competing at the NBA Draft Combine after all.
According to DraftExpress, Diallo will attend the combine but not take part in 5-on-5 competition. That would seem to indicate Diallo wants to keep his stock where it’s at and not risk hurting it.
Because the Kentucky Wildcats landed Kevin Knox on Saturday, one has to wonder what effect it will have on Diallo. Knox will now almost certainly occupy the starting 3 spot next season, not to mention take on a major role on the perimeter, which could lessen Diallo’s role and therefore hurt his draft stock in 2018.
Both players are more than capable of playing together, but Diallo may not want to take that chance and risk having a reduced role next season. He also wants to be in the NBA right now and have the security of a guaranteed contract, something he’ll get if he’s a late first or early second-round pick in the 2017 draft.
If Diallo thinks he’s already going to be drafted in that range, then it makes sense for him to pass on competing at the combine and risk hurting his stock.
Despite the report from his prep-school coach that he is 90% sure Diallo is coming back to UK, I think Diallo was slightly leaning towards staying in the draft before Saturday, and once Knox committed, he’s now planning to stay in the draft.
I still expect Diallo to wait right up until that May 24th deadline before making a decision. Perhaps enough things will change in the next few weeks that Diallo realizes coming back is his best option, but don’t get your hopes up on it.