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01 AUG 2016: Hamidou Diallo (Queens, NY) in action during the adidas Global Nations at Cerritos College in Norwalk, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)
NBA Draft

Hamidou Diallo could skip college

Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire

Reports have surfaced in the last day that five-star swingman Hamidou Diallo would be eligible for the 2017 draft if he were to choose to enter. Diallo, ranked number 11 in ESPN’s top 100, still plans on going to college, but that could change over the next eight months depending on a number of factors.

“It’s definitely something that I’m going to look into,” Diallo told Evan Daniels of Scout.com when asked about the draft. “It’s my ultimate goal, and I don’t feel like it would hurt me looking into. But as of now I want to go to college.”

It’s hard to blame the high-flying Diallo after seeing fellow high schoolers like Jonathan Isaac and Thon Maker attempt to enter the league out of high school. While Isaac decided against the early-entry and enrolled at Florida State, Maker’s upside and intriguing skill set made him the 10th overall pick to Milwaukee last June.

It’d be easy to see a similar scenario for Diallo next year, given his natural talent, explosiveness and versatility. Diallo was a standout performer this summer for the New York Rens on the EYBL circuit where he averaged 19.1 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. If he were to go to school, a number of high major colleges have offered, including Duke, Kentucky, and Arizona, among others.

But I wouldn’t be surprised to see him enter the draft next year, given his skillset and potential to develop into a two-way wing. At 6’5” and 190 pounds with a 6’10” wingspan, Diallo already has the size and length to defend on the wing at the next level. When you combine this with his elite quickness and leaping ability, he should be able to guard multiple positions in the NBA.

 

However, Diallo must continue to develop his ball skills and perimeter shooting ability to make a smooth transition to the league. Diallo only made 11 of 55 threes over 20 EYBL games over the course of this spring and summer, so there’s work to be done.

This might not be the only 2017 recruit we see flirt with the NBA draft process, given the age of other top prospects in the class — Sam Vecenie gave a rundown on Twitter:

With all these high schoolers looking to make the jump to the league, you’d think commissioner Adam Silver would make an adjustment to the rule. But until the necessary changes are made, don’t be surprised if more high school athletes try to stay in school an extra year to make the leap to the Association.

Hamidou Diallo could skip college

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