Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma City Thunder have acquired Hamidou Diallo from the Charlotte Hornets after the 2018 NBA Draft on Thursday night. Charlotte had traded for Diallo from the Brooklyn Nets. This kid might have three different NBA hats in the next three weeks. The pick was included in the most recent Dwight Hoard Charlotte-to-Brooklyn trade.

Since the trade happened after the draft, it cannot be completed until July 6, when the NBA’s moratorium period expires.

Charlotte drafted the Kentucky Wildcat 45th in Thursday’s second round. A freshman at Ketucky, Diallo averaged 10.0 points and 3.6 rebounds in 37 starts for the Wildcats. The 6-5 guard out of Queens shot only 33 percent from three but really started to figure things out towards the end of his freshman year. His 22 points against Buffalo in the NCAA tournament was huge in the Wildcats moving on. However, he didn’t score in double-figures in 18 of Kentucky’s final 24 games.

Diallo, no relation to Cheick Diallo of the Pelicans, is crazy athletic. He’s not afraid to attack the paint and make contact and can really throw it down at the rim.

Diallo almost turned to the NBA before even playing a game at Kentucky. He returned to school, redshirting the 2017 spring semester at the advisement of John Calipari. He was a borderline first round selection. However, we’ve seen his stock has dropped considerably.

“Maybe I didn’t need a year of college,” Diallo said on his decision to return. “I don’t know. I just felt like I wanted to come back and play for Kentucky for a year, just figure it out. Adversity hit, and I learned what type of person I am. So I learned how to fight myself and how to fight adversity. That’s just going to make me a better player, which it already has.”

In 2017, Diallo posted one of the best vertical jumps in NBA combine history. His 2018 mark was four inches shorter (40.5 inches) but still ranked eighth of all players participating in the drill this year. His 10.53-second mark in the lane-agility drill was the third-fastest recorded at the combine.

I doubt we’ll here Presti mention anything about Diallo since the trade cannot be completed until July.

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Chuck Chaney

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