Detroit Pistons: It’s a make-or-break season
Hamidou Diallo may have more to gain from this season than any other player on the Detroit Pistons.
He is heading into a contract year that will pay him $5.2 million and will then become an unrestricted free agent, so Diallo is not just auditioning for the Pistons.
Diallo averaged 11 points off the bench last season, is a good rebounder for a guard and is great at getting steals on defense. He also takes a lot of risks on defense and gets lost off the ball sometimes, but he gives Detroit an element of athleticism that they have lacked.
He’s had some big games for the Pistons, like when he had back-to-back 30+ point double-doubles against the Knicks and Spurs last season, but he also disappears at times, has had trouble staying healthy and is still a terrible shooter from long range.
He did improve his mid-range game though, and shot 49 percent from the field overall. He’s also an explosive finisher in transition and a guy who can be a disruptive defender. Hamidou is about to turn 24-years-old and still has room to grow, so he’ll get a contract from someone.
But a breakout season could net him a big raise, so he has a lot at stake this season, and should get plenty of minutes at the backup small forward position to prove he’s worth it. It would be great to see Diallo make a leap and become one of the league’s better bench players and part of the Pistons’ future core.