Ousmane Dieng enters the 2022 NBA Draft as an international prospect holding tantalizing potential. The French forward most recently played professionally in New Zealand and is ready for the next major step in his young career at only 19-years-old.
Ousmane Dieng 2022 NBA Draft Profile
Dieng was born in France and started his professional basketball career there. His first team was Centre Federal. While there, in 2020-21, Dieng averaged about 13 points, six rebounds, and three assists per game.
In June of last year, Dieng made the switch to the New Zealand Breakers of the National Basketball League (NBL). He chose to play there over a number of US college programs as well as the G-League Ignite star-studded team. With the Breakers this past season, Dieng averaged about nine points, three rebounds, and an assist per game.
For starters, Dieng has great size at 6’9″ for someone who projects to be a wing player in the NBA. He’s a very solid athlete with most of the physical tools pro scouts are looking for come draft time.
His athleticism allows him to be very mobile and quick on the open floor. Dieng will get to where he has to go with relative ease. Although projecting as a wing, Dieng has a variety of playmaking tools as well. His handle is above-average, his vision continues to improve, and he can be very creative when it comes to making the right pass.
Dieng looks to be somewhat of a tweener between a shooting guard and a small forward. This is actually a solid attribute, as many of today’s wing stars fit the same mold. These players, such as Dieng, do everything expected from a wing player, but add other important assets such as both play and shot creation.
Lastly, Dieng can get his own buckets. He’s quite effective in his pull-up jumper game.
As a whole, Dieng can improve his shooting. That’s not a major weakness, as his shooting isn’t necessarily bad. He’s still young and finding his stroke, and this will certainly come with time.
With this being said, Dieng cannot always settle for jumpers, which is what he tends to do. With his size and length, he’ll have to become more physical and attack the basket. Finishing around the rim is not one of his strong suits at the moment. He also doesn’t get to the free-throw line as much as teams would like, which is a direct result of him opting to settle for jumpers. Many young players enter the NBA this way, but personal coaching could fix this.
Lastly, Dieng has shown a tendency to commit turnovers. As someone not expected to carry heavy ball-handling duties, this is another thing that will have to be addressed.
NBA Player Comparison for Ousmane Dieng
Dieng is looking like a Kyle Anderson type in the league. Anderson is proving to be an important piece to the Memphis Grizzlies, but had early potential to be a lot more. His playing type is sought after, so teams will be looking for Dieng to be an even better version.
NBA Draft Projection
Dieng is likely to be drafted in the first round, especially in the later range such as from picks 20 – 30.