Our favorite Kentucky Wildcats backcourt is getting broken up.
The trade includes Svi Mykhailiuk, who has spent time with the Los Angeles Lakers, and a 2027 second-round pick, both being sent to Oklahoma City in exchange for Diallo.
Diallo was just coming into his own with the Thunder, which makes this move from the Sam Presti-led front office a bit shocking. But, we do know how the Thunder love to stockpile picks, so this is just Presti doing his thing.
As for the Pistons, it should’ve been an easy move.
Second-round picks rarely coveys into a top-tier player, and Diallo could quickly turn into one of the best players in Detroit. He’ll tag-team with Jerami Grant to create a dynamic two-three duo.
That said, on top of reporting the original trade, Woj went back and gave a brief explanation on why the Thunder would’ve done this deal.
Detroit's 2027 second-round pick on way to OKC is via Houston, sources say. Diallo will be a restricted free agent this summer and Pistons see him a core player moving forward. Lu Dort's emergence made Diallo expendable, and Thunder add to massive stockpile of picks. https://t.co/6JPHL8Y5VL— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 13, 2021
The 22-year-old high-flying Diallo is averaging 11.9 points per game in 32 appearances and 5 starts. He’s almost doubled his scoring average in each of his first three seasons in the NBA. The growth for Diallo, who has also competed in a Slam Dunk contest, is there.
He’s that good, and the Pistons see that. While his ceiling is still yet to be seen, Diallo should be able to finally get more playing time with the Pistons, a team distantly out of playoff position.
Having yet to play over 24 minutes per game in any of his three seasons, Diallo’s numbers are even more impressive when you realize that per 36 minutes his scoring average blossoms to 18.0 points.
What baffles me is that the Thunder would rather go with Lu Dort and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in the backcourt along with Svi and the pick than have SGA and Diallo. But, Presti has pulled off magic before, and their fans will be hoping he can do it again with a massive amount of picks in his arsenal.