2016 NBA draft profile: Kansas PF/C Cheick Diallo


Cheick Diallo

Position: Power forward/center

Height: 6-foot-9

Weight: 219 pounds

School: Kansas

Cheick Diallo stepped onto Kansas' campus last season with arguably the most buzz of any freshman not named Ben Simmons. All of the attention looked like it was justified after he put up 13 points, six rebounds and three blocks in his debut against Loyola (MD) after sitting out the Jayhawks' first five games because of eligibility issues.

However, it proved to pretty much be all downhill from there. Diallo averaged just 3.0 points and 2.5 rebounds in 7.5 minutes a game during his lone college season. He was buried on the bench for a deep Kansas team, even getting DNP-CDs on several occasions (he sat out three of the Jayhawks' four NCAA Tournament games).

While his collegiate career didn't go as planned, Diallo still possesses the athletic ability and high motor that will get a team to pull the trigger on him in the first round.

Diallo's biggest asset is a skill you simply can't teach: hustle. He sprints everywhere on the floor, a huge bonus for a big man. That leads to easy looks at the rim, where Diallo knows how to finish. It also factors into rebounding and Diallo is relentless on the glass. Despite his low per-game rebounding numbers, the Mali native actually averaged 13.5 boards when broken down per 40 minutes.

Another positive for Diallo is his length. Although he would seem a bit undersized for NBA power forwards and centers, Diallo's 7-4 wingspan helps make up for the difference. He uses those long arms to get off shots in tight spaces in the paint, reach for rebounds and turn back shots on defense.

In addition to the physical attributes, Diallo has a certain level of maturity that you might not expect from a 19-year-old. You never heard any complaints from him at Kansas after he was relegated to a minor role off the bench for most of the season.

Diallo's game is severely limited offensively. His points come primarily on dunks in the open court, lobs or put-backs. And while he showed at Kansas that he wasn't afraid to pull up for jump shots, it's still an area of his game that needs plenty of work. Not to mention that once Diallo gets the ball there is almost no chance it ends up in the hands of a teammate for a bucket. He recorded just one assist all season compared to 17 turnovers in 27 games.

Plus, Diallo's lack of bulk could be an issue early on in his career. At only 219 pounds, he's likely to struggle when banging with the bigger bodies of the NBA, particularly on the defensive end.

How he'd fit with Sixers
Not good at all. In case you hadn't heard, the Sixers' roster is already full of big men that operate primarily out of the paint. No need to add another one.

NBA comparison
While there are numerous frontcourt players with tools that resemble Diallo, only Kenneth Faried really has the motor to match. Both players thrive on playing with high energy to make up for their other deficiencies.

Draft projection
Look for Diallo to go off the board somewhere in the 20s.

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