Adam Zagoria, the New York hoops writer, signaled Friday that Hamidou Diallo, the draft’s most intriguing prospect, has ended his team workouts for now and will spend the next few days deciding on whether to stay in the draft.
Zagoria said the Nets workout, held Thursday at HSS Training Center, “went well,” but didn’t provide details.
The Nets were in fact Diallo’s final workout before he has to decide on May 24, next Wednesday, whether to return to Kentucky, where he has yet to play a game, or hire an agent and pursue an NBA career.
If Diallo did well in the Nets workout, it would have been against two top-notch collegiate players, Josh Hart of Villanova and Tyler Dorsey of Oregon, similar sized senior guards with Final Four experience. That’s who the Nets had scheduled as workout partners Friday.
The 6’5” Queens native worked out for the Nets after hitting in order Boston, Milwaukee and Chicago. Boston, of course, has the overall No. 1 and Diallo isn’t a candidate for that pick, but the Celtics also have three picks in the second round starting at No. 37. The Bucks, who took the similarly situated Thon Maker at No. 10 last year, has the No. 17 pick, and the Bulls, who may have to rebuild, have the pick before the Bulls at No. 16.
Brooklyn, of course, has No. 22 and No. 27.
Does Diallo’s decision to end workouts, at least for now, signal that he might have a guarantee from one of the four teams? It could. Prospects will often end workouts if they are satisfied that they’ll get what they want on Draft Night, whether it’s a first round pick, a lottery pick, whatever. But it may just be that Diallo now has enough feedback after four workouts to make his decision and there’s no more need to cram in more workouts between now and Wednesday.
Word is that Diallo is leaning toward entering the Draft. His sterling Draft Combine numbers helped. He also surprised people by having added 10 pounds while at Kentucky. And if he played well, that’s an added bonus since the last time Diallo was in any formal game setting was in high school.