Hamidou Diallo NBA Draft Profile

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Hamidou Diallo

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 14: Kentucky Wildcats guard Hamidou Diallo (3) drives to the basket against Kansas Jayhawks center Udoka Azubuike (35) during the State Farm Champions Classic basketball game between the Kansas Jayhawks and Kentucky Wildcats on November 14, 2017, at the United Center in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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Hamidou Diallo – 6’5” Shooting Guard, University of Kentucky, 19 Years Old

Hamidou Diallo enters this year’s draft in an uncertain position as he decided against declaring for the draft last year. Diallo committed to Kentucky in January 2017 and sat out all last season. In the lead up to the draft, he was projected as a first rounder. However, he decided to return to Kentucky and play last year. In his one and only season with Kentucky, Diallo started and played in 37 games, averaging 24.8 minutes per game. As the starting shooting guard, Diallo played alongside fellow NBA Draft prospects Kevin Knox, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Wenyen Gabriel, and Jarred Vanderbilt.

Diallo averaged 10 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game and helped Kentucky along to the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA tournament before losing to Kansas State. He seemed to be lost in the shadow of Knox and Gilgeous-Alexander at times. This also could lead to a detriment in his draft stock compared to last season. Obviously, it always depends on the team and who’s left on the board, but Diallo could easily slip into the second round unless his athleticism is heavily taken into account.


An extremely gifted athlete, Diallo showed stretches of great play and talent on the court. His ability to lock down his opponent and create difficult situations on defense are his two largest strengths. This can lead him into a nice position for a team that is looking for an agile defender who doesn’t necessarily need to pour points on the offensive side to earn a role. In his first few years, he can be a rotation player that can defend starting guards. This allows the starter or star player to rest and not give up a lead with a second or third unit in the game.

The ability to run the floor is extremely important in the NBA today. However, the ability to run the floor effectively and with enough grace to finish on the other end is more imperative. Think of the best teams in the league: the champion Golden State Warriors or runner-up Cleveland Cavaliers. These teams have reliable players that can run a fast break but can also space the floor accordingly to let the other players have opportunities at the rim. Here is where Diallo can exceed his limitation on offense, keeping spacing for a better scorer.


Unfortunately, there are many. His play at Kentucky was, at times, dismal. Diallo failed to score more than five points nearly 10 times in the season. As a shooting guard, this is problematic and, frankly, a detriment to being taken seriously. His jump shot and free throw percentage are well below that of an average player. Basically, his entire offensive skillset needs to improve by leaps and bounds before he can compete with the guards around the NBA.

This isn’t necessarily a criticism of Diallo, rather more of an examination into the league today. Diallo shot 33 percent from three-point land, and in a comparison of his soon-to-be peers, that is discouraging to any potential team. Drafting a guard who can’t effectively knock down threes is going against the grain in the league today. These points only lead to questions about Diallo, rather than looking at the benefits of drafting him.

NBA Potential

The biggest reason to draft Hamidou Diallo is his potential. There probably isn’t any superstar potential here, but he showed flashes of high-level basketball. He has the ability to turn into a player who can take over a game and pour points on. The ceiling isn’t very high, but it’s enough to warrant a project for any team. Diallo’s early years on any team can provide a development strategy to help build around another player. That makes his stock higher than it should be. He could be fit in with almost any team that isn’t in need of a high volume scoring guard.

NBA Player Comparison

A somewhat on the nose comparison for Diallo is Sacramento Kings guard Iman Shumpert. Both players do not add a great deal offensively but make up for that on the defensive side. Diallo may never lead a team to a championship, but his presence could swing a game or a momentum shift in a comeback. Although Shumpert hasn’t made a large impact in his career thus far, he does have a championship. This may be the career path for Hamidou Diallo as he may find himself on a team in need of an athletic guard.

Watch for Hamidou Diallo’s name to get called possibly in the late first round or most likely in the second round, and be sure to stay updated with our complete coverage of the 2018 NBA Draft!


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