Thursday June 23rd, 2016

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The Clippers selected Cheick Diallo of Kansas with the No. 33 pick in the NBA draft, though Los Angeles is reportedly trading the pick to the New Orleans Pelicans. 

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, the Pelicans acquired the No. 33 pick in exchange for the No. 39 and No. 40 picks. 

In his lone season with the Jayhawks, Diallo averaged 3.0 points and 2.5 rebounds.

His NCAA career began with an eligibility battle and a Bill Self bench burial. He impressed scouts with a strong combine showing and impressive team workouts. The Mali native retains the strengths that made him a high school All-American and was optimistic about being taken in the first round. Diallo’s on-court intangibles offer a distinct appeal.

• 2016 NBA draft position rankings

Strengths: Diallo has most of the traits you want in an energy big man. He boasts a gigantic 7’4 1/2” wingspan, rebounds well, blocks shots, and most importantly, plays really, really hard. He’s short for his position, but there’s enough working in his favor to suggest he can overcome that. Diallo was all over the floor at the draft combine, getting up and down the court, finding the ball around the basket and hustling the entire time. All these components make up what should eventually be a useful NBA role player.

Weaknesses: For all his raw strengths, Diallo is pretty unpolished on offense, without a developed post-up game or mid-range jumper. His scoring will be limited mostly to hustle points and layups off dump passes as a result. His touch isn’t bad, he just needs to be coached. Diallo plays largely off instinct right now, and will need a little extra development time to maximize his returns. After barely playing in college, the jump to pro ball will pose an even greater challenge.

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