The Pistons could have landed a great deal with Hamidou Diallo

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Some sharp-eyed experts have already noticed a revealing detail: Diallo’s team-mates from the Oklahoma City Thunders are sorry to see him go. Comments by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Theo Maledon, and Darius Bazley on Diallo’s farewell Twitter post were full of sadness. On the other end of the deal, the departure of  Svi Mykhailiuk does not seem to shock anyone. The struggling forward has been a disappointment in the past season. The deal has more to it than meets the eye, so keep an eye on to monitor the evolution of the odds on young Diallo in the coming weeks.

ESPN was the first to report that OCT was trading its guard Diallo to the Pistons in exchange for Mykhailiuk and a 2027 second-round pick. Both traded players are going to be restricted free agents at the end of the season. Still, Troy Weaver has scored more than a success with talent-scout deals since he joined the Pistons. There must be potential in Diallo that he has noticed. The GM is busy constructing a new scheme for guards and wings. Apparently, what Troy Weaver is seeking are young and highly athletic players who can penetrate the arc and attack the basket. Driving to the basket is something that the 22-year old Diallo can do very efficiently. But he is not a mere slasher; there is much more to this kid.

Young Hamidou is long, sporting a 6-foot-11 wingspan in addition to a 6-foot-5 height. He is also extremely athletic and has a good touch with both hands to make good cuts. Thanks to his dribbling skills, he can find the best driving lanes to penetrate the arc. On the other hand, he is still a relatively weak shooter when further from the basket (36.2 FG% in the paint non-restricted area, 34.9 FG% from midrange, and 29.3 3P%). In the restricted area, he has a much better 63.2 FG%. These values are well below the NBA average.

Progress is noticeable, though, from season to season. The volume and efficiency of Diallo’s shots from the paint non-restricted area went up from 23 shots overall on 26.1 FG% to 54 and 27.8% to 69 in half of the current season and 36.2%. From beyond the arc, the increase went from 0.5 3PA per game on 16.7 3P% to 1.2 and 28.1% to 1.3 and 29.3%. There is a lot of work still to do for Hami, especially on his long-shot that is still slow and needs more momentum and arc.

Defense is where the newest Piston could be a game-changer, mostly as an on-ball defender. His numbers so far say that he is strongest in defending spot-up shooters, with a 92.5th  percentile, 0.74 PPP. When defending ball handler in P&Rs, he is in the 79th percentile (0.78 PPP), while defending isolations, he is 58th percentile (0.88 PPP).

His defense against plays off-screen (61.7 percentile, 0.87 PPP) and on handoffs (70.7 percentile, 0.79 PPP) results in  6.5% worse results of opponents shooting against him.

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