Detroit Pistons: Hamidou Diallo’s poor play could benefit Detroit

Hamidou Diallo #6 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
Hamidou Diallo #6 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /

Hamidou Diallo got off to a hot start for the Detroit Pistons but has since disappeared, which may not ultimately be the worst thing for the Pistons.

Diallo was very good in his first five games in Detroit, scoring in double-digits in four of them and flying all over the place.

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Diallo has been non-existent since, playing in only eight of the last ten games and averaging just six points. His shooting numbers have plummeted and he just doesn’t look like the same guy who came to Detroit on a wave of swagger.

He has been dealing with a nagging injury that is clearly affecting his play, but he has gone from a guy who looked like a huge steal for a Detroit, to a guy who we have to wonder if they are going to re-sign in the offseason.

Even though Diallo has played poorly of late, I think Detroit will still retain his services and might even get a bargain.

Detroit Pistons: Hamidou Diallo’s stock has gone down

Diallo’s play this season had him in line for a fairly substantial raise on his second contract.

He has improved every year he’s been in the league, is still only 22-years-old and appeared to be improving in his areas of weakness, namely long-range shooting.

I wrote about what kind of contract Diallo might get and it looked realistic that he could command as much as $10-12 million per year based on his age, production and ceiling.

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I was actually concerned that some other team might offer him a poison pill deal that the Pistons would have to match, causing them to overpay if they wanted to keep Diallo.

Now? I’m not so worried.

In fact, the Pistons should be able to leverage his poor late-season play to get him on a bargain deal similar to Josh Jackson‘s.

If so, this would be a huge win for Detroit, as Diallo still has all of the tantalizing athleticism and upside that made him look like a potential $40 million guy.

If the Pistons can lock him up on a team-friendly deal, Diallo will be hungry and playing with a chip on his shoulder for the next contract.

The Pistons aren’t really trying to win anyway, so Diallo’s poor play isn’t killing them and could end up benefitting the roster in the future. I’d love to see Diallo play well down the stretch, but if he doesn’t, his price might go down, which should help Detroit.

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