Dieng Provides Answers for OKC on the Wing

Dieng Provides Answers for OKC on the Wing

Ousmane Dieng ending up in OKC, is almost like finding an extra gift at Christmas after all the other presents are opened.

Dieng was a surprise to end up in OKC. He was drafted No. 11 last month, a pick before OKC’s second lottery selection. He was originally a Knick, but that lasted less than 30 minutes.

Shortly after his name was called and before OKC selected at No. 12, Sam Presti struck. He traded for Dieng while keeping pick No. 12 and 34 but trading capital for next year’s draft.

It was a risk, but Dieng has the upside to have the risk be a reward. He struggled in the beginning of the Summer League, but that’s to be expected it’s a challenging transition, which some make look easy.

Dieng showed progress throughout Summer League action. It was always unlikely that Dieng would come into the league as a blossoming superstar right away, but his ceiling remains high as he develops.

Dieng comes to OKC as a promising wing talent who is 6-foot-10 and 205 pounds. He comes out of the NBL playing for the New Zealand Breakers. He’s originally from France. Dieng also struggled to catch on early for the Breakers, but showed his upside as a prospect averaging nearly nine points and 3.2 rebounds per game.

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Diengs physicality has been noted as a strength and in some of the later Summer League games he displayed that with his ability to back down defenders and finish at the rim.

Dieng was a lanky shooting guard overseas but could see most minutes at the three in the NBA, which could actually benefit him when it comes to his role.

The Thunder’s depth with true small forwards has been limited at times. With a guard, either Lu Dort or Josh Giddey, holding down the starting role Dieng’s ability as a physical slasher who can create shots a variety of ways bodes well for him to be the first forward off the bench.

Dieng still lacks some polish on his game but his variety of offensive skills will help him carve out a role and most likely gain confidence to develop into a key piece for OKC and a mainstay in the NBA. 

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