Hamidou Diallo

Pistons Issue QOs To Hamidou Diallo, Frank Jackson

The Pistons have extended qualifying offers to Hamidou Diallo and Frank Jackson, ensuring that both players will be restricted free agents this summer, reports James Edwards III of The Athletic (via Twitter).

Acquired from the Thunder in March in a deal that sent Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and a second-round pick to Oklahoma City, Diallo averaged 11.2 PPG and 5.4 RPG on .468/.390/.662 shooting in 20 games (23.3 MPG) for Detroit.

The expectation when Diallo was acquired was that the Pistons would make a strong effort to lock him up to a new deal as a restricted free agent. His qualifying offer will be worth about $2.08MM and will give Detroit the right of first refusal in the event that he signs an offer sheet with another team.

As for Jackson, the former 31st overall pick spent the 2020/21 season on a two-way contract with the Pistons, averaging 9.8 PPG and 2.2 RPG on .457/.407/.813 shooting in 40 games (18.5 MPG).

Because he has four years of NBA service under his belt, Jackson is ineligible to sign another two-way contract, so his qualifying offer will be worth the minimum salary. However, it only needs to be partially guaranteed for the equivalent of a two-way salary (likely around $463K).

The Pistons have two more players eligible for restricted free agency this offseason. I’d expect one of those players – Saben Lee – to get a qualifying offer before this weekend’s deadline, but the other – Dennis Smith Jr. – will likely become an unrestricted free agent.

Central Notes: Cavs’ Lottery Pick, Buford, Diallo, Carlisle

The Cavaliers will not just limit their interview and workout list for the No. 3 pick to USC’s Evan Mobley, the G League Ignite’s Jalen Green and Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Those players are widely considered the next three prospects beyond Oklahoma State guard Cade Cunningham, who is only expected to visit Detroit

Duke’s Jalen Johnson, who is ranked No. 9 by ESPN, was scheduled to meet with the Cavaliers on Friday. The Cavs are also expected to look at the G League Ignite’s Jonathan Kuminga (rated No. 5) and Florida State’s Scottie Barnes (No. 6). The latter met with Cleveland’s brass on Thursday, Fedor adds.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Chase Buford is leaving his post as the Wisconsin Herd’s head coach in order to become the head coach of the Sydney Kings in Australia’s NBL, according to a team press release. “We are excited for Chase to pursue this opportunity with one of the best clubs in Australia,” said Herd GM Dave Dean. Buford, 32, led the Bucks’ G League team to a league-best 33-10 record before the 2019/20 season was suspended due to the pandemic.
  • Along with mulling what to do with the top pick, the Pistons must decide how high they’re willing to go on restricted free agent Hamidou Diallo, Bobby Marks of ESPN (Insider link) writes. Diallo is projected to command somewhere in the neighborhood of the mid-level exception, which the Pistons could easily match. Marks also explores the team’s other pending decisions and its cap situation.
  • With his long track record and a four-year contract, Rick Carlisle will command respect in the Pacers’ locker room, J. Michael of the Indianapolis Star (subscription required) writes.

Pistons Notes: Diallo, Polinsky, Beilein, Jersey Sponsor

The Pistons traded for 22-year old Hamidou Diallo two weeks before this season’s trade deadline, and it appears they liked what they saw from the athletic wing in his 20 games in Detroit. Pistons GM Troy Weaver helped draft Diallo during his time with the Oklahoma City Thunder, and, as NBA.com’s Keith Langlois writes, Weaver still has sky-high expectations for Diallo.

Hami, he fits what we’re trying to do here,” Weaver said. “Tremendous mindset, tremendous competitor. Defensive mindset, athletic and he brings it. You can never have too many guys that have that mindset and that competitiveness.

Diallo, one of the better rebounding guards in the league, with an improving jump shot and a limitless supply of energy, is set to hit restricted free agency this summer, but Weaver seems to expect he’ll be back in Detroit next season.

Here’s more on the Pistons:

  • The Pistons and senior director of player personnel Gregg Polinsky have agreed to part ways, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks, despite the success of recent draftees Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart. This comes as part of a larger shake-up within the team’s development staff.
  • Keith Langlois writes about how the hiring of ex-Michigan head coach John Beilein as senior advisor of player development points to a larger trend for the Pistons. Between head coach Dwayne Casey, assistant coach Tim Grgurich and the new addition of Beilein, Weaver and team owner Tom Gores have prioritized building a robust and experienced development staff as the team enters a rebuilding period. “With the age of our core group, I wanted to add to our excellent developmental staff,” Casey said in a statement issued by the Pistons. “John is a basketball lifer with a passion to help young players get better, especially in the area of shooting. We have an excellent group of young development coaches who have done a good job with our young core.”
  • The Pistons have announced a new jersey sponsor: United Wholesale Mortgage. The Pistons’ previous uniform patch sponsor was Flagstar Bank.

Pistons Notes: Draft, Roster, Casey, Diallo, Veterans

The Pistons finished with the second worst record in the league, meaning they’ll slide no lower than sixth in the draft lottery. While the top five prospects in this year’s draft have been highly touted, GM Troy Weaver doesn’t want fans to automatically assume they’ll get a franchise player, Rod Beard of the Detroit News tweets.

“There’s definitely big potential in the top five. Franchise-changing? I don’t know,” Weaver said on Monday. “There’s no Shaq (Shaquille O’Neal) in this class…I’m not looking for someone in the top five to step in and change the franchise.”

We have more on the Pistons:

  • Weaver blew up the roster in his first season with the franchise but he won’t be doing much wheeling and dealing this summer, according to Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. Beyond the lottery pick, the roster will have plenty of continuity. Weaver said the focus this offseason will be on internal growth. “I don’t anticipate having too many roster spots available,” Weaver said. “We like our group and we’re excited about the guys under contract and even our own free agents. I don’t anticipate much turnover at all.”
  • In tune with that theme, Casey said his players won’t get much time off this summer, Langlois writes in a separate story. “Give the guys a couple of weeks off and get right back at it,” he said. “Like I told the team, this is probably one of the most important summers of their basketball-playing careers.”
  • An essential part of the rebuild was retaining Casey to nurture the team’s growth, Beard writes.  The extension runs he signed last week runs through the 2023/24 season. “It was extremely important that we extend Coach,” Weaver said. “It was an important part of everything we’re doing, we wanted him to be lined up with this restoration. He’s leading the cause on the floor.”
  • When the Pistons traded with the Thunder for restricted free agent Hamidou Diallo, the expectation was that Detroit intended to hold onto the young wing. That remains the plan, Omari Sankofa II of the Detroit Free Press tweets. “It’s a young group that he fits and we need his talents,” Weaver said of Diallo. “If he can continue to buy into Coach Casey’s system, which he did … I think he can have a very bright future here in Detroit.”
  • The Pistons sat out many of their veteran players to gave their rookies plenty of experience in the second half of the season. However, Weaver wants some seasoned players to round out the roster, James Edwards of The Athletic tweets. “Our roster construction is always going to have veterans,” he said.

Pistons Notes: Diallo, Cook, Weaver, Lee, Joseph

Hamidou Diallo gave the Pistons an example of why GM Troy Weaver coveted him so much during their victory over Toronto on Monday, James Edwards III of The Athletic writes. Diallo sparked the club with 19 points and 10 rebounds.

Diallo, a restricted free agent after the season, was acquired earlier this month from Oklahoma City for swingman Svi Mykhailiuk and a 2027 second-round pick. From all accounts, the Pistons want to retain Diallo, Edwards adds.

“He’s an athletic young man who is just scratching the surface of what he can be in this league,” coach Dwane Casey said.

We have more on the Pistons:

  • Casey said that energy and communication are two big things he looks for from a player on a 10-day contract and Tyler Cook has fulfilled those requirements, Edwards tweets. The Pistons signed the forward to a second 10-day deal on Sunday. Detroit will have to decide by April 6 whether to offer Cook a standard contract or look at another player.
  • Weaver acquired two second-round picks along with Cory Joseph in the trade that sent Delon Wright to Sacramento and that made the Kings’ offer attractive, according to Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. “A lot of times people see those as throwaway picks. I don’t see them as throwaway picks,” Weaver said. “I see them as picks you can use in a variety of ways.” The Pistons don’t have their own second-round pick until 2027, but they have three from Toronto, Charlotte and the Los Angeles Lakers this season, plus Sacramento’s 2024 pick.
  • Saben Lee will likely have his two-way deal converted into a standard contract this offseason, Rod Beard of the Detroit News speculates. Lee, a rookie second-round pick, had a 19-point outing as a starter on Monday
  • Casey hasn’t hesitated to use Joseph, who is averaging 11.3 PPG and 3.7 APG in 24 MPG in his first three outings with the club. Joseph is set to earn $12.6MM in 2021/22, but the contract is only partially guaranteed ($2.4MM) until August 1, so the Pistons may opt to waive or trade him before next season.

Northwest Notes: Nuggets, Jazz, Diallo, Wolves

After an up-and-down start to the season, the Nuggets have played some of their best basketball as of late, winning six of their last seven games and rising to the No. 5 seed in the West. With the trade deadline around the corner, the team will likely consider ways to upgrade its roster and cement its status as a contender, but JaMychal Green said on Monday night that he doesn’t believe a trade is necessary.

“We have everything we need,” the Nuggets forward said, per Mike Singer of The Denver Post (Twitter link).

Asked if he agreed with Green’s assessment, Nuggets guard Jamal Murray replied, I’d be crazy if I didn’t. I believe every year we have everything we need. That’s just how I think, that’s just how we play, that’s just how we believe in each other” (Twitter link via Singer).

  • The NBA announced on Monday that it has concluded its investigation into Elijah Millsap‘s allegations that Jazz executive Dennis Lindsey made a racially insensitive comment during a 2015 exit meeting and found no evidence to support the claim, writes ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The league interviewed Lindsey, GM Justin Zanik, and head coach Quin Snyder – all of whom were present at the meeting – as well as Millsap and agent Daniel Hazan. Lindsey, Zanik, and Snyder all denied the statement was made, while Hazan said Millsap hadn’t made him aware of it during his two season with the Jazz, per Wojnarowski.
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who played college ball with Hamidou Diallo at Kentucky, admitted it was tough to see his Thunder teammate traded to Detroit, as Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman details. “It sucks. A guy that’s super close that I love playing around, love being around,” Gilgeous-Alexander said. “But it is what it is. It’s the NBA. It’s a business. The front office, it’s not my job, it’s their job. They make decisions like that and they felt like it was best for the team and for Hami. My job’s to go play basketball.”
  • Chris Hine of The Star Tribune considers how much stock to put into the trade rumors linking the Timberwolves to John Collins.

Central Rumors: Turner, Pistons, Plumlee, Diallo, Bulls

The Knicks, Lakers, Clippers, Hornets, and Pelicans are among the teams to explore whether the Pacers are willing to trade big man Myles Turner, league sources tell J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star.

The Pacers were willing to discuss Turner in trade talks during the 2020 offseason and have lost 17 of their last 26 games after an 8-4 start this season, so it’s no surprise that teams are inquiring on the NBA’s leading shot-blocker.

However, Michael says that if Indiana does look to make a move at the trade deadline, it’s unlikely to involve Turner, who has developed into a crucial part of the team’s success. The Pacers have been better both offensively and defensively when he’s on the court.

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • Within his look at some hypothetical trades for the Pistons, James L. Edwards III of The Athletic reports that the team is seriously discussing trades involving Delon Wright, Wayne Ellington, and Mason Plumlee, adding that there have been some “whispers” about the Nets potentially being interested in Plumlee.
  • Hamidou Diallo‘s Pistons debut will be delayed a little longer due to his groin strain, head coach Dwane Casey said on Monday (Twitter link via Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press). Diallo missed his last several games with Oklahoma City as a result of the injury, which he suffered on February 24.
  • The Bulls‘ new-look rotation got off to a good start on Sunday, as the team comfortably defeated Toronto with Tomas Satoransky and Thaddeus Young replacing Coby White and Wendell Carter in the starting lineup. Head coach Billy Donovan cautioned after the game that the new starting five isn’t “set in stone” (Twitter link via Eric Woodyard of ESPN). However, the affected players sounded fully on board with the changes, with Carter stating that he would’ve benched himself too, as K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago writes.
  • Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic explores what the lineup changes might say about the Bulls‘ approach to the trade deadline, suggesting that the team seems unlikely to be a seller.

Central Notes: Bulls Starters, Healthy Cavs, Diallo, Weaver

Bulls head coach Billy Donovan is rumored to be making significant changes to the club’s starting lineup, a source informs Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic. Veteran Tomáš Satoranský could replace second-year point guard Coby White, and veteran forward Thaddeus Young could be moved in to start ahead of third-year center Wendell Carter Jr. as soon as tonight, in time for the team’s game against the Raptors.

Slow starts have impeded the Bulls lately, losers of four of their last five contests. Mayberry notes that Chicago’s traditional starters have been struggling. The team’s starting five of White, Carter, All-Star Zach LaVine, Patrick Williams, and Lauri Markkanen is averaging a lackluster minus-17.6 net rating. K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago details what the changes – should they transpire – mean for the Bulls.

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • The 14-23 Cavaliers have not had been able to field a fully healthy roster for most of the season, but with Kevin Love and Larry Nance Jr. back in the lineup, the team has some rotation decisions to make, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com writes. “I don’t know the last time we had a full, available roster,” Cleveland head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “Been frustrating for us as coaches because it’s been different positions as we’ve moved through it.” Before they returned Friday, Love had been unavailable for 33 games, while Nance had missed the preceding 12.
  • Athletic Pistons swingman Hamidou Diallo, arriving fresh from the Thunder after a deal yesterday, will serve as an exciting addition to Detroit, thanks in large part to his exceptional defensive upside, writes Omari Sankofa II of the Detroit Free Press.
  • Pistons general manager Troy Weaver may not be done reshaping Detroit’s roster, according to Rod Beard of the Detroit News. After adding Diallo this weekend and waiving Blake Griffin earlier this month, it’s become clear that Weaver is prioritizing a younger, more athletic future.

Central Notes: Diallo, Markkanen, Carter, LeVert

Pistons coach Dwane Casey is thrilled with the trade that brought Hamidou Diallo from the Thunder, writes Keith Langlois of NBA.com. Even though Detroit gave up a shooter by parting with Svi Mykhailiuk, the team believes the move will pay off with an upgrade on defense.

“He’s a wing defender – can guard one through three, the smaller fours,” Casey said of Diallo. “Excellent wing runner. He’s quick, athletic – probably one of the most athletic wings in the league. Needs to continue to work on his 3-point shooting, which is what our league is about. But he’ll definitely step right in as one of our top defenders. He has a wingspan that’s out of this world, anticipates well and competes.”

The Pistons aren’t sure when Diallo will be cleared to play, Langlois adds. He missed the last four games with OKC because of groin soreness and may require a quarantine period before being permitted to join his new teammates.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • Although they’ve lost two straight games since the All-Star break, the Bulls have to be encouraged by the strong return of Lauri Markkanen, writes Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago. After missing 13 games with a strained right shoulder, Markkanen scored a team-high 23 points Thursday against the Sixers and followed that with 20 points Friday against the Heat. “I felt all right,” Markkanen said after his first game back. “Physically, obviously there’s still just getting my wind back and my legs back into game shape. I had a couple practices, so it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I felt all right. Still got a ways to go, but not too bad.”
  • Bulls center Wendell Carter admitted Friday that he needs to play better, according to Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic. Carter is averaging just 5.8 PPG in that span and shooting 32.3% from the floor. “I feel like I’ve regressed in that area of being more aggressive on the offensive end,” he said. “Just trying to play the right way, do everything that everybody is telling me to do. But at the same time, I understand that me being aggressive will be better for my team. So I just got to play a lot better on the offensive end.”
  • Pacers guard Caris LeVert isn’t on a minutes restriction tonight in his first game since having surgery for renal cell carcinoma in January, tweets Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files.

Thunder Trade Hamidou Diallo To Pistons

MARCH 13: The trade is official, according to press releases from both teams.


MARCH 12: The Thunder are trading guard Hamidou Diallo to the Pistons for swingman Svi Mykhailiuk and a 2027 second-round pick, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets. The future pick was originally acquired by Detroit from Houston in the Christian Wood sign-and-trade.

Diallo will be a restricted free agent with his qualifying offer projected to be worth approximately $2.1MM. However, the Pistons didn’t acquire Diallo to let him walk in free agency. They view him as a core piece, Wojnarowski reports in a separate tweet. Luguentz Dort‘s emergence made Diallo expendable, as Woj explains.

Mykhailiuk will also be a restricted free agent this summer. Currently, his QO is the same as Diallo’s.

The swap was executed by OKC general manager Sam Presti and his former assistant Troy Weaver, who was hired by Detroit last year as its GM and has nearly turned over the entire roster since then.

A second-round pick in 2018, Diallo has enjoyed a breakout season in his third NBA year with the Thunder. The 22-year-old is averaging 11.9 PPG, 5.2 RPG and 2.4 APG in 23.8 MPG. He’s a subpar 3-point shooter (career 26.2%) and free throw shooter (62.9%).

The 6’5” Diallo has a 7-foot wingspan and is extremely athletic, Omari Sankofa II of the Detroit Free Press tweets. He’s currently sidelined by right groin soreness and hasn’t played since February 24.

Mykhailiuk, who began his career with the Lakers three seasons ago, has a different skill set. He’s a career 36.9% 3-point shooter and has knocked down 11 in Detroit’s last three games. He dished out a career-high eight assists in a loss to Charlotte on Thursday.

Overall, the 23-year-old Mykhailiuk is averaging 6.9 PPG, 2.1 RPG and 1.6 APG in 17.6 MPG over 36 games this season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.