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NBA Scouts weigh in on Kentucky’s draft prospects

What do NBA scouts really think of Kentucky’s draft prospects? Five of them spoke to Seth Davis and turned in mostly positive reviews on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kevin Knox, and Jarred Vanderbilt. Hamidou Diallo? Not so much. Although Diallo has been described as a “sleeper” and a “steal” by ESPN, one scout was not impressed.

“Very disappointing. Love him as a kid, but he’s still an athlete trying to play basketball. His jumper has a long way to go. He needs to buy into being a lockdown defender, but I don’t know if he has that in him. He’s what I call a ‘should-be’ guy. He should be able to defend in the league, he should be able to finish. But does he have that mentality? He still has that AAU mentality where you just run around and jump and play transition basketball, and the game isn’t played like that enough. He’s worth a swing in the second round and maybe you put him in the G League and hope he develops.”

One of the scouts believes Kevin Knox is “one of the most talented wings in the draft,” but worries about his consistency, while another says Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is “solid, just not dynamic.” Jarred Vanderbilt may have gotten the best review of all, which is crazy to me considering his foot/ankle injuries, but clearly, a team will draft him based on potential.

“He’s got size, athleticism, strength. He can rebound and push. He rebounds at a high level. Some team that’s high on analytics will fall in love with this kid. He’s going to have the ability to defend multiple positions. My main concern would be just how healthy he is and if he can sustain it for 82 games. I like his skill level. I’ve heard he’s a good character guy. He looks the part and then some.”

For more, get your wallet out and head on over to The Athletic.


Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

8 Comments for NBA Scouts weigh in on Kentucky’s draft prospects

  1. Kat4Life
    3:05 pm June 18, 2018 Permalink

    This validates the opinion I have had of Diallo says the first time I saw him in high school, fabulous athlete but a crappy basketball player. Sadly he will never play a minute in the NBA. Maybe overseas.

    • Sentient Third Eye
      3:55 pm June 18, 2018 Permalink

      But that’s not what they guy said. It’s wait-and-see on Diallo. If he “gets it” eventually, the upside is still amazing, and a team rolling the dice on him could get the steal of the decade. His only real weakness is mental (EDIT: I don’t mean that like it sounds, because Diallo is neither an idiot nor problem child).

      He just needs mental discipline to develop his game. Sometimes being a freak athlete can hamper a kid because he’s so talented that he doesn’t have to develop skills that other kids do, and that’s probably what happened to Diallo. The problem is his freak athleticism has an expiration date, too. By his mid-twenties, he’ll notice a drop-off.

      Can he mature before his athleticism wanes? The answer to that one question will determine whether makes an NBA player.

  2. Mathlete
    3:20 pm June 18, 2018 Permalink

    In fairness to Knox’s inconsistency, he’s barely 19. He’s also a poor man’s rookie Kevin Durant, so if your team is going to need a KD in about 5-6 years but doesn’t have real KD money, Knox isn’t a bad option.

    • Sentient Third Eye
      3:56 pm June 18, 2018 Permalink

      Good comment. He’ll probably never be Durant good, but he can be 75% of KD, and just about any team in the league would be happy with that.

    • Mathlete
      4:12 pm June 18, 2018 Permalink

      75% of KD at his absolute best is at least 100% of a lot of guys whose names are in the HOF. Any team would love to have that locked down for a rookie contract

  3. chrisg18
    4:07 pm June 18, 2018 Permalink

    That is my opinion of Diallo as well. He should be a really good basketball player with the physical tools he has, but he just has such a long ways to go mentally. It amazes me that people label him as a good defender, which I have seen multiple times. That’s gotta be people who didn’t watch him play and are only going on how athletic he is. I hope he figures it out but it will take awhile for him and he only has so much time before the NBA moves on to the next Diallo.

  4. Kat4Life
    6:21 pm June 18, 2018 Permalink

    I think it’s way too convenient to dismiss Diallo’s struggles as purely mental. There’s a certain basketball IQ that accompanies NBA players that he simply does not have. I’m not trying to be unnecessarily hard on him, but having watched him for roughly 35 games I can count on one hand the intelligent plays I’ve seen him make. No, I’m sorry, this guy is a worse version of Archie Goodwin. He will not be an NBA player in any capacity. In my opinion

    • Kat4Life
      6:34 pm June 18, 2018 Permalink

      I just read my post, and realized that right after I said it wasn’t mental I started saying it WAS mental (“basketball IQ” being synonymous with mental I guess)…….sorry boys, long ass day………