The Knicks and Nets are scouting from the same pool of players projected to go late first round or early second round. Hamidou Diallo is one of those players.
— Sean Deveney (@SeanDeveney) June 6, 2018
The Queens native is projected to go somewhere late in the first round or early in the second round. This lines him up to be on the board for the Nets with the 29th pick or possibly the Knicks with the 36th pick.
Diallo spent one season with the Kentucky Wildcats and while he didn’t quite live up to expectations during his time in college, he is an incredible athlete with serious NBA upside. His stock has dropped considerably from a year ago, but he is definitely worth a look.
His jumper needs a lot of work and his defense is also a work-in-progress, but his plus-athleticism could overcome these concerns for a lot of teams. The jumper is much more concerning than the defense at this point.
His athleticism combined with the right system and coaching could lead to Diallo’s development as a capable defender at the next level. Conversely, the jump shot will take more time to develop and there’s no guarantee that he ever develops into a capable shooter.
But in the late first round and early second round, teams will often take a chance on a guy with tremendous upside. This is a case where a player has yet to live up to expectations, but has the physical tools to get there. Diallo may be looking at a homecoming with either team in play to draft him.