Hamidou Diallo should return to school.
He made the right decision by entering the draft; hopefully he will make the right decision and return to school, if the current projections are where he really stands to go.
The latest to project Diallo’s NBA draft future is DraftExpress.com, which released its updated mock draft Wednesday evening. DraftExpress’s new projection has Diallo going No. 33 overall to the Orlando Magic in the second round.
ESPN’s Chad Ford said the same thing about Diallo a couple of days ago, adding that he could climb his way into the lottery by playing one season at UK:
Hamidou Diallo, SG, Fr, Kentucky*
Diallo enrolled in Kentucky this winter and practiced with the team, but never suited up for the Wildcats. He was widely regarded as a top-15 high school prospect thanks to elite athleticism, a strong motor and an aggressive offensive game based on attacking basket. His jump shot is the biggest question mark for scouts. He’d likely be a late-lottery to mid-first-round pick in 2018 after playing at Kentucky next season. If he stays in this draft, he’ll get looks in the late first round and would be a likely second-round pick. [ESPN]
So unless there’s a team out there that tells Diallo they’re willing to gamble with him in the mid- to late-first round, it would be in his best interest to come back and ball out in Lexington next year. Then again, maybe a team will fall in love with him at the combine, who knows.
But for now, the early projections aren’t great for the potential none-and-done Wildcat.
The deadline to return to school is May 24. The combine will be held May 9-14.