The Detroit Pistons are looking for a fresh start this season, and that began with finding reliable veterans to put around their young core.
That is still pending, as Monte Morris hasn’t played yet and Joe Harris has been terrible.
Luckily, Alec Burks has been fantastic, filling in admirably for the loss of Morris, Bojan Bogdanovic and Isaiah Livers, who are all out for several more weeks.
The Pistons cut ties with most of their veterans from last season, as Cory Joseph, Rodney McGruder and Hamidou Diallo walked, and so far, Co-Jo is the only one of them to find a job.
Whatever happened to Hamidou Diallo?
Hamidou Diallo became a fan favorite last season mostly because he tried hard, which shows you exactly how low the bar was set. He did have his moments off the bench, and he can be a really fun player to watch, as he flies around and goes for steals, can finish at the rim and is always good for a few highlight-reel dunks.
Unfortunately, he could also be an extremely frustrating player to watch, as Diallo can’t shoot at all. Don’t let his 57.3 percent from the field fool you, as his shots were almost all layups or dunks and he still shot just 23 percent from long range, though he mercifully stopped shooting them last season.
As bad of a shooter as he is, Diallo can provide a spark off the bench with his defense, athleticism and ability to score in transition, which is why I am kind of surprised he didn’t end up on an NBA roster.
He was signed to an Exhibit 10 contract by the Washington Wizards before being waived and picked up by their G-League affiliate, the Capital City Go-Go.
Diallo is one of the first victims of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, which made things richer at the top and left teams with less money for middling players like Hamidou. Guys like Christian Wood and Kelly Oubre Jr. had to take minimum deals just to stay in the league and both are better than Diallo.
With more money going to the top, teams are more inclined to sign players on cheap rookie deals and it’s going to be the lower middle class veterans that get squeezed out in the process. Diallo is probably better than many of these young players who have deals, but they are cheaper and still have “hope,” while he is a known commodity at this point.
As injuries mount this season, I’m sure Hamidou Diallo will get a chance with someone, but for now he has gone from a bench player for the Detroit Pistons to a G-Leaguer in one offseason.