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NBA Draft 2018: Hamidou Diallo could sneak into first round

In a weak back end of the first round, Hamidou Diallo could potentially hear his name called.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-South Regional Practice Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The tables are turning for former Kentucky Wildcats guard Hamidou Diallo.

After being projected in the late first round last season, despite any college tape, Diallo declared to return to school to increase his draft stock.

However, following a rough season at Kentucky, Diallo decided his best chance to enter the NBA was now. His year was so up and down that most mock drafts had him in the middle of the second round. But according to the latest mock draft from Sports News, he could potentially hear his name called at the end of the first round.

The mock has Diallo going to the Atlanta Hawks with the 30th pick. It’s an interesting fit, considering the Hawks are in no hurry to contend and are in shape to land some serious young talent in the top of this draft. If Diallo pans out to be what most scouts hoped for, he could be a steal for Atlanta.

Though they have many holes, shooting guard is one that needs to be filled the most. Diallo brings slashing and cutting for easy buckets, which could give him immediate minutes.

Assuming Atlanta is likely taking Duke’s Marvin Bagley with the third pick, they’ll have their front court set with John Collins and Bagley. Add in Diallo and last year’s starting point guard Dennis Schroder and this could be a team with very high upside.

The mock draft also has two more Wildcats in the first round and in the lottery to be specific.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander rising high in the lottery, landing eighth with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Let it be noted that he'd go ahead of fellow SEC point guard Colin Sexton.

They also have Kevin Knox going 14th to the Denver Nuggets, a team he would receive an instant scoring role from.

For the latest updates on Wildcats’ draft stock, check back with A Sea Of Blue.