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Hamidou Diallo drawing interest from Nets, Pacers and Mavericks

Brooklyn could be the team that sways Diallo to stay in the NBA Draft.

UK Athletics

Hamidou Diallo may not be competing at the NBA Draft Combine this week, but he’ll still be one of the most interesting prospects in this year’s draft.

Pretty much every team with picks in the 15-30 range will be looking into Diallo and determining if he’s worth that big of a risk. So of course, teams drafting in that range are already looking into him, including the Nets and Pacers.

The Mavericks have a first-round pick, but it’s slated to be the ninth-overall selection, pending the draft lottery, so don’t expect Diallo to go that high. That’s not the case with the Pacers, who have the 18th pick, but I doubt Diallo even goes that high.

The biggest threat to draft Diallo this year is undoubtedly the Nets. They hold the 22nd and 27th pick, so that’s a pair of late first-round picks they could use on Diallo.

They’re also a team in the midst of a major rebuild, so they can afford taking a chance on a guy like Diallo since he has the potential to be a lottery pick in 2018.

And don’t forget that Diallo grew up in nearby Queens, so the allure of playing professionally in Brooklyn is probably very appealing to Diallo. The Nets could probably draw a little extra fanfare by taking a local kid like Diallo, making this a match that just makes too much sense if Diallo is really going to be drafted in that late first/early second-round range.

I think the Nets could go as far to promise Diallo they’ll take him at 27 if he remains in the draft. I also think that would be enough for Diallo to remain in it and bypass on a return to UK.

The good news is UK just landed Kevin Knox, and that will greatly soften the blow of Diallo staying in the draft, which I expect to happen.