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Diallo, others drop out of draft


Hamidou Diallo has long had a reputation for waiting until the last minute to make his decisions. He did when he chose Putnam Day School. He did it when he chose Kentucky and he did Wednesday night when he waited till near midnight to withdraw from the Draft. Our own Bryan Fonseca was the first to report what he planned to do on Tuesday evening.

The Queens native was one of at least four players who withdrew their names after working out with the Nets ... or planning to. Omer Yurtseven, the Uzbek 7-footer, returned to North Carolina State; Andrew Jones, the 6’5” point guard, returned to Texas, and Moritz Wagner, the 6’11” forward, returned to Michigan. Caleb Swanigan, Purdue’s 6’9” big who the Nets worked out last week, will stay in the draft.

Diallo, of course, was the most intriguing prospect. The Nets obviously liked him, but in the end, Diallo decided to take a risk. Rather than going for a million dollar payday this season (he’d make $1.7 million if the Nets took him at No. 22; $1.3 million it at 27), he chose to take a chance on a bigger deal next summer, after a year with a team that has championship aspirations.

Woj also reported that several teams in 20's —presumably including the Nets— were serious about selecting Diallo, but no guarantee came high enough to convince him to stay in draft.

Adam Zagoria of Zags Blog wrote the Nets and Jazz, who have the 24th and 30th picks, came closest.

While testing the waters without an agent, he had been projected as the No. 35 pick per and never got a first-round guarantee after working out for Boston, Chicago, Milwaukee and the Nets, the source said.

“Brooklyn and Utah were the two teams most serious about selecting him in the first round, but ultimately would not promise before midnight,” one source said.

With Diallo projected as a 2018 lottery pick, the Nets chances for him drop precipitously. They currently have no pick in either the first or second round.

Zagoria had reported that Diallo’s workout with the Nets a week ago “went well.” The Nets wanted to see what he and Jones could do against Josh Hart of Villanova and Tyler Dorsey of Oregon, two similar-sized guards with Final Four experience.

With the withdrawal deadline now past, mock drafts will become more realistic. The NBA Draft, to held at Barclays Center, is four weeks away.