The Oklahoma City Thunder and second-round pick Hamidou Diallo have agreed on a three-year deal worth $4 million according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
A former Kentucky Wildcat, Diallo was selected with the 45th pick in the 2018 NBA Draft by the Brooklyn Nets. His rights were then traded to the Charlotte Hornets, ultimately ending up with Oklahoma City.
During the NBA Summer League games in Las Vegas, Diallo did not join the roster until July 6th — the day of the Thunder’s first game — due to the trade becoming official on that date.
Diallo impressed despite being thrust into the roster with little time to prepare with his new teammates. His athleticism, length and motor were on display.
“He’s made some progress in the week,” Summer League coach Mark Daigneault said on July 12th. “He’s done a good job of focusing in, learning from the game. Specifically on defense, his identity as a professional player needs to be on defense.”
The 19-year old averaged 18.6 minutes, 10.8 points on 20-of-41 shooting (4-of-9 from three) and six rebounds in five games. He shot with an effective field goal percentage of 54 percent.
“I’m trying to understand the game at a different level,” Diallo said after the Memphis loss on July 12th. “That’s going to take time and a lot of film work.”
Diallo’s addition to the roster puts the number of players at 16. Fellow rookie Deonte Burton is on a two-way contract. According to ESPN’s Royce Young, the prevailing thought is that Kyle Singler will be moved via trade or a waive at some point in the near future.
Signing Diallo brings the Thunder to 15 roster spots filled, though that will likely be dropping to 14 within the next few weeks when Kyle Singler is moved/waived. https://t.co/hfMP3TEjHb
— Royce Young (@royceyoung) July 25, 2018
Typically with second-round picks, contracts are not guaranteed and the rookie minimum — only good for two seasons — is less than that of a veteran’s minimum deal. In order to add the third year, the Thunder had to dip into their $5.3 million tax payer’s mid-level exception in order to make the signing happen.
OKC is using part of its $5.3M Mid-Level Exception to do this. Minimum salary contracts can only be for up to two seasons. https://t.co/ggCOmRawmo
— Jon Hamm (@JonMHamm) July 25, 2018
Oklahoma City saves money by signing second round pick Hamidou Diallo and not signing a player to a veteran minimum contract. Diallo will come in at a cap hit of $838K and push the payroll in Oklahoma City to $149.6M and a current luxury tax bill of… https://t.co/1lQXpMvGD8
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) July 25, 2018
“He’s a jet athlete,” Daigneault said. “But he’s also got great pace to his game. He’s not just raw-athleticism and no skill, he can definitely play. He can handle the ball, he doesn’t play to fast on offense and has a great maturity to his game.”
Here is the roster as it currently stands. The status of Jerami Grant/Patrick Patterson starting and Andre Roberson’s health is yet to be determined: