Local Pro Sports

Hamidou Diallo has made the most of a difficult start with the Thunder

Hamidou Diallo has made the most of a difficult start with the Thunder

It has been no ordinary start for Hamidou Diallo and the Thunder.

Diallo, the former redshirt freshman Kentucky guard, was taken with the 45th overall selection by the Hornets, but was then traded to the Thunder in exchange for a 2019 second-round draft pick.

While a player being traded on draft night isn’t uncommon, the two teams could not complete the trade until the beginning of the league year on July 6 due to NBA rules.

So, Diallo could not participate with the Thunder during practices leading up to the start of the Summer League until the trade was eventually made official on Friday.

“I haven’t got to practice with the team on the court,” Diallo said on Saturday after the team’s win over the Nets. “[Friday] was my first time with the team on the court. I’m just trying to build as much chemistry as possible.”

For essentially two weeks since being drafted, Diallo was forced to just study plays on film and talk to his coaches and teammates in an attempt to begin building chemistry.

Since he could not practice with the team, it isn’t much of a surprise then to assume it wasn’t a good situation to be in as he could have been in the gym with the team learning the system, but couldn’t due to league rules.

“You go out there and watch your team practice and you don’t get to go out there and help them or practice,” Diallo said. “It isn’t fun; everybody wants to compete. But, everybody has a different path, you just got to stick to your path and always be ready. That’s one thing that I learned. Always be ready and when your name is called, just go out there and try to perform.”

Diallo has been mentioned as perhaps the most athletic player in this year’s draft class. He posted a 40.5-inch max vertical at this year’s NBA Draft Combine and recorded a 44.5-inch vertical…

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