Draft Profile: Cheick Diallo

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NBA Draft Combine Measurements


Why You Might Know Him

Cheick Diallo did not begin playing basketball until the age of 13, but it only took him a few years to develop into one of the top high school recruits in the country. The Malian forward spent one season at the University of Kansas, though he did not see a lot of playing time on the stacked Jayhawks roster, which is why he only contributed 3.0 points and 2.5 rebounds per game. Diallo did, however, make his mark at the NBA Combine in mid-May. During a 5-on-5 exhibition, he tallied 18 points, four rebounds and four blocks in just 22 minutes of play.

Scouting Report

Possessions Scouted from 2015-16 Season:
OFFENSE: 68.5 percent of possessions
DEFENSE: 100 percent of possessions

Cheick Diallo is an interesting prospect. He possesses incredible length but I’m unsure of his position; he plays like a power forward but has the build of a small forward. Diallo has all the physical tools and has a nice little jumper to go along with solid touch around the rim. His jumper is flat, but it goes in. His release is very slow, as he oftentimes drops the ball to his knees before cocking and firing. He struggles with instincts and timing on screens, as well as knowing where his teammates are going. I believe his inconsistency in this respect, and lack of knowledge of the offense, caused his minimal playing time at Kansas. He has a great motor, but his feel for the game remains raw. His length can be a true weapon defensively. He didn’t showcase great lateral quickness during his limited action. He’s not afraid to get physical, but he currently lacks the strength to be a difference maker in that regard. He doesn’t give a ton of effort in pick-and-rolls but defends with effort in all other scenarios. He sees the floor well defensively and is a willing help defender, and is such with impact thanks to his length. I’d love to see him defend wings during a private workout to see how he handles playing against athletic perimeter players.


Cheick Diallo was born on Sept. 13, 1996 in Kayes, Mali to Mamadou and Ramata Diallo. He was an avid soccer player growing up, but by the time he was 13 years old, he stood 6-foot-3 and his father advised him to switch to a sport that better suited his height. Diallo chose basketball, and within one year of playing he garnered interest from Tidiane Drame, a Malian-American amateur basketball scout. After hosting Diallo at a basketball camp, Drame advised the young, raw talent to move to the United States so that he could develop his basketball skills at an American high school. In February of 2012, just two years after he first picked up a basketball, Diallo moved to the U.S. to attend Our Savior New American School in Centereach, NY. It took the 15-year-old awhile to adjust, but he was taken under the wing of upperclassman Chris Obekpa, a Nigerian-born center who later attended St. John’s University, led the NCAA in blocked shots in 2013, and hopes to be drafted this year as well. During his sophomore year, Diallo was chosen to attend the NBA’s Top 100 Camp in Virginia where he earned MVP honors. That helped put him on the map for the recruiting process. By the time he was a senior in 2015, Diallo was one of the most heavily sought after players in the country. He was ranked No. 5 on the Rivals 150 and No. 7 on the ESPN 100. The forward was selected to participate in the McDonald’s All-American game and the Jordan Brand Classic – he took home MVP honors in both contests. Diallo went on to attend the University of Kansas, though he was not eligible to play in the team’s first five games after the NCAA suspended him for receiving “a limited amount of benefits.” He made an impressive collegiate debut on Dec. 1 against Loyola (Md.), as he tallied 13 points, six rebounds and three blocks in just 16 minutes of play. Two games later, Diallo notched 12 points against Holy Cross, though that turned out to be his last double-digit scoring effort of his freshman season. His playing time was limited (7.5 minutes per game), so his stats – 3.0 points, 2.5 rebounds and 0.9 blocks per game – were not overly impressive. Diallo had a solid showing during the opening round of the NCAA Tournament, as he logged nine points (4-of-5 shooting from the field) and four boards in seven minutes. However, he did not see any action during Kansas’ remaining 3 games of the tourney. Diallo declared for the NBA Draft on March 28.