Making Your Way Through the Mocks: FINAL
Taking stock of the Mock Drafts landscape after a volatile month, consensus has arrived in the form of Lousiville junior Gorgui Dieng, who appears on nearly half (eight total) of the 19 mocks surveyed. Duke senior Mason Plumlee drops to second after two weeks atop the count, with honorary mentions going to Tony Mitchell, Kelly Olynyk, Rudy Gobert, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Shane Larkin.
Projected to the Nets by David Aldridge (NBA.com), Tim Bontemps (NY Post), Kris Habbas (NBA Draft Insider), The Hoops Report, Joe Kotoch (Sheridan Hoops), Mitch Lawrence (NY Daily News), Chris Mannix (Sports Illustrated) and Aran Smith (NBADraft.net), Dieng is the reigning Big East Defensive Player of the Year, having provided 9.8 points, 9.4 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 2.5 blocks for the NCAA Champion Cardinals. Measuring 6-foot-11 with a 7-foot-4 wingspan, Dieng should be able to step in as a disruptive defensive presence limited only by his ability to stay out of foul trouble. He will need to gain weight (just 230 pounds) and continue to develop offensively, though he does pass well, averaging 2.0 assists as a junior.
Kotoch describes Dieng – who worked out for the Nets on Wednesday – as "a mature prospect, who is physically ready to play in the NBA ... could be a functional player on the offensive end." Mannix writes, "Dieng is regarded by scouts as one of the best screen men in the draft." And though Aldridge notes "he's probably going to have to play some 4 in the pros," Dieng would "be a nice backup for All-Star Brook Lopez."
–Great shot blocker
–Reliable midrange jumper
–Still developing a consistent low-post offensive game
Dieng has been projected as a mid-first-round pick. He has skills and physical attributes that would suggest he will, at the very least, be a solid defender in the NBA, both a good shot blocker and a solid defender in the low post because he can move his feet, intimidate with his length and battle from a strength standpoint. He's also quick enough to switch off screens and guard multiple positions.