Diallo had an opportunity to take a unique path to the NBA. After enrolling at Kentucky in January 2017, he didn’t suit up for the Wildcats the final three months of the 2016-17 season. He declared for the draft last spring without signing with an agent and tested well at the combine, recording a 44.5-inch vertical leap, but ultimately opted to return to Lexington for the 2017-18 season instead of becoming a “none-and-done” prospect. That decision may have cost him a place in the first round. Had Diallo stayed in last year’s draft, executives might have been willing to take a chance on a prospect with elite athleticism but no track record of college performance. His 37 games at Kentucky did little to ease concerns about his unrefined skill set.
The Crossover’s Front Office breaks down Diallo’s strengths, weaknesses, NBA comparison and more in its in-depth scouting report.
Hamidou Diallo, SG, Kentucky | Freshman
Height: 6’5’’ | Weight: 200 | 7/31/98 (19)
Stats: 10 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 33.8 3FG%
• Top-shelf athlete. Explosive leaper who thrives finishing above the rim.
• Dangerous driving at the basket in transition. Excels attacking scrambled defenses.
• Fair to argue that he was hurt by Kentucky’s lack of shooting last season. Should be more comfortable operating in offenses with better floor spacing at the next level.
• Terrific physical tools for his position. Wingspan measured at 7-foot.
• High defensive ceiling thanks to his length/quickness combination.
• Rudimentary offensive skill set. Not a capable scorer from either side of the three-point arc.
• Poor free-throw percentage at Kentucky (61.1%) doesn’t inspire optimism about his long-range shooting. Also lacks consistency on his jumper mechanics.
• Not clear how he can help offenses in the half court. Can’t do all that much off the dribble beyond straight-line drives.
• Defensive impact lags behind his physical tools. Doesn’t have great instincts on that end of the floor.
Player comparison: Gerald Green
Diallo’s potential as a transition threat on offense and switchable cog on defense is undeniable, but he won’t be able to get by on athleticism alone in the NBA.