Comparing NBA stars to Kentucky basketball players: Hamidou Diallo

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 22: Hamidou Diallo
ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 22: Hamidou Diallo /

The Kentucky basketball team will lose at least three, and possibly six players to the NBA Draft. It’s time for some NBA comparisons. Up next in the six-part series is Hamidou Diallo.

The Wildcats will lose at least three, and as many as six players to this year’s NBA Draft. Part of what NBA general managers and scouts do, is make comparisons of incoming players to those who are already part of an NBA team. This is Part Three of a six-part series comparing current NBA stars to the Kentucky basketball who’ve declared for the 2018 NBA Draft. Today let’s check out Hamidou Diallo.

Hamidou Diallo may be the most enigmatic Kentucky basketball player to declare for the draft. Diallo pulled his name out of the NBA Draft last year. But this year, Diallo is keeping his name in the draft and has hired an agent. Diallo is as physically gifted as any player in this year’s draft. The current NBA player who best compares to Hamidou Diallo is Sacramento Kings’ swingman Iman Shumpert.

Shumpert played three years at Georgia Tech. The New York Knicks drafted him in the first round of the 2011 NBA Draft. Shumpert was taken with the 17th overall pick. While he won’t go that high, Diallo may be able to wow scouts at the combine and sneak into the late-first round.

Next: Comparing current NBA stars to Shai-Gilgeous Alexander

Both Shumpert and Diallo can jump out of the gym. At the 2011 NBA combine, Shumpert recorded a 42″ vertical jump. Not to be outdone, at last year’s combine Diallo recorded a 44.5″ vertical, the second highest ever recorded. Due to his injuries over the years, Shumpert’s athletic ability has declined.

Shumpert’s had a solid, but not spectacular NBA career. He’s started a little better than 50% of the games he’s played in and has a career average of 7.3 points per game. Most mock drafts have Diallo as a second round pick. He’s likely to have a rough road to make an NBA roster. However, if he can emulate the career of Iman Shumpert, he’ll have carved out a nice niche for himself in the NBA.