It’s difficult to believe, but Hamidou Diallo is now the longest-tenured Thunder player on the roster. His Rookie year was the season with Russ, PG, and Melo (The OK3, 2018). As a player with seniority on the team, he carries more responsibility this season, as he must not only further develop his own game but help usher in this new era of Thunder basketball. Up to this point, Diallo’s career has mimicked the pattern of Halloween’s Michael Meyers – he plays relentlessly, gradually fades from rotation, then just when people have forgotten about him, he comes roaring back into the rotation, playing better than ever. Injuries, trades, it doesn’t matter – Diallo always comes back. This tenacity and drive have served him well to this point and will be critical to his development this season.
The player whose film I’d want Diallo to watch is his former teammate, Andre Roberson. Before his tragic injury, Roberson was a top three perimeter defender and the likely frontrunner for the Defensive Player of the year Award. Like Hami, he was an offensive liability entering the league but learned to adjust by mastering cuts to the basket and moving without the ball. Their similar physique and length as larger wings make Dre a good blueprint for Hami to study.
Hami’s biggest struggles have been shooting and consistency. This year is a golden opportunity for him to show consistency and improvement over a complete season. With the Superstars now gone, Hami has an open audition to show what he can do, and earn a permanent spot in the rebuild.
Diallo has preached his commitment to improving his three point shot and has spent the offseason working to become a more consistent shooter from deep. It is no secret how much that would dramatically help his game, but it would also help Shai Gilgeous-Alexander grow into his a new role as the point guard of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Hamidou Diallo was not only an awful shooter from beyond the arc in terms of 3-point percentage (28-percent) but his 3-point gravity ranked in the 14th percentile earning an F guard. Not only would a leap in three point shooting be good for Diallo’s personal game, but it would open up the floor for the Thunder’s new floor general, SGA.