Hamidou Diallo

Pistons’ Hamidou Diallo Out For Season

Pistons swingman Hamidou Diallo will miss the remainder of the 2021/22 season with a left index finger avulsion fracture, the team announced. He suffered the injury against Chicago on March 9.

The high-flying Diallo was the 45th pick of the 2018 draft after a single collegiate season with Kentucky. He spent his first two-plus seasons with Oklahoma City prior to being traded to Detroit last March.

He had a breakout third season in 2020/21, averaging 11.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.9 assists on .477/.341/.644 shooting in 52 games (23.6 minutes) with the Thunder and Pistons. Diallo was a restricted free agent last summer and re-signed with the Pistons on a two-year, $10.4MM contract.

In 58 games this season, including 29 starts, Diallo continued to be a valuable contributor. He averaged 11 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.2 steals on .496/.247/.650 shooting. The 23-year-old struggles on threes and free throws, but he’s extremely athletic, a great finisher, and plays solid defense.

The Pistons hold a $5.2MM team option on Diallo for next season, so he could technically become an unrestricted free agent in 2022 if the Pistons decline the option, but I think that’s pretty unlikely since it’s an affordable salary for a solid young player.

Pistons Notes: Bagley, Livers, Cunningham, Blaha

Marvin Bagley III is headed to free agency but he seems intent on remaining with the Pistons, as he told James Edwards III of The Athletic.

Bagley has enjoyed his experience with Detroit since he was dealt by the Kings last month. He’s also been productive, averaging 14.1 PPG and 7.1 RPG in 27 MPG during his first 10 games with the Pistons.

“We’ve got some amazing talent here. Now, it’s about figuring out how to work together, gel together to do something bigger,” he said. “I’m definitely excited about it. I can’t wait to be around the guys even more, figure them out even more and make runs in the playoffs … even get some championships here. I’m excited about it.”

Bagley didn’t receive a rookie scale extension with Sacramento. His qualifying offer, which would make him a restricted free agent, will be $7.3MM since he won’t meet the starter criteria.

We have more on the Pistons:

  • Due to injuries and illness, rookie wing Isaiah Livers received extensive playing time against Miami on Tuesday. He responded with 16 points in 31 minutes but his bigger focus was defense, according to Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. Livers, a second-round pick, spent the bulk of the season rehabbing from a foot injury. “Being out, definitely I was locked in, especially to my team,” Livers said. “I was seeing where we need that push and that shove. What I saw was defensive energy right away off the bench. That was my key right away to minutes off the bench.” Livers’ contract is guaranteed through next season with a team option in 2023/24.
  • Rookie of the Year candidate Cade Cunningham missed Tuesday’s game due to a non-COVID illness, according to Rod Beard of the Detroit News“He started feeling bad (Monday) night and came to shootaround looking like death, eating crackers. So, he’s in pretty bad shape,” coach Dwane Casey said prior to the game. Hamidou Diallo (finger) and Frank Jackson (back) also missed the game and Rodney McGruder aggravated a hamstring injury during it.
  • Longtime broadcaster George Blaha underwent a heart bypass procedure on Tuesday, the team’s PR department tweets. Blaha is expected to return as the play-by-play announcer next season.

Central Notes: Diallo, McGruder, Bagley, LeVert, Brown

The Pistons won in Boston just before the All-Star break but they’ll be shorthanded when they visit for the second time on Friday. The team has ruled out starting center Isaiah Stewart and key reserves Killian Hayes, Hamidou Diallo, Rodney McGruder and Frank Jackson due to an assortment of injuries, Omari Sankofa II of the Detroit Free Press tweets. Diallo (finger sprain) and McGruder (hamstring strain) were injured during the loss to the Bulls on Wednesday.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Marvin Bagley III‘s athleticism has given the Pistons a new dimension, Rod Beard of the Detroit News writes. Bagley, who will enter either restricted or unrestricted free agency this summer, provides a major lob threat that the team was sorely lacking. “We’re really happy with the way he’s playing, the way he’s fitting in, and he’s creating a lot of options offensively, and defensively, he’s giving us another rebounder,” coach Dwane Casey said.
  • Caris LeVert won’t play against Miami on Friday but he’s making some progress from the right foot sprain he suffered last month. He went through a portion of the Cavaliers’ practice in Miami on Thursday and took some shots on the court afterward, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer tweets.
  • Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff believes Moses Brown can help the team with his interior presence, Kelsey Russo of The Athletic tweets. Brown was signed to a 10-day contract on Thursday. “He’s long. He’s rangy. He has good athleticism,” Bickerstaff said. “He knows how to patrol the paint at both ends of the floor. Really good rim roller and lob threat, so he’s a similar build to what we have and what we value.”

Hamidou Diallo Fined $20K By NBA

The NBA has fined Pistons guard Hamidou Diallo $20K, the league’s PR team announced in a press release (Twitter link).

Diallo is being penalized for shoving a referee with 6:29 left in the first half of yesterday’s 113-104 defeat to the Celtics, per the NBA’s statement. With the loss, the Pistons’ record fell to 14-46 on the season.

The 23-year-old swingman, drafted with the No. 45 pick out of Kentucky in 2018, was assessed a technical foul and ejected at the time of the incident, ultimately appearing in just 10:41 of the contest. He has been having a solid season for a rebuilding Pistons team during his first full year in Detroit.

Diallo is averaging 11.2 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 1.2 APG and 1.2 SPG across 22.3 MPG. The 6’5″ wing is connecting on 49.8% of his field goal looks in 53 games, including 29 starts.

Central Notes: Osman, Vucevic, Grant, Bulls

Cavaliers forward Cedi Osman has settled in to his second unit role and is enjoying a bounce-back season, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes. Osman has made 43.6% of his 3-point attempts this season and has averaged 20 points over the last three games. He shot 30.6% from deep last year and averaged fewer points while playing more minutes.

“His role is to be a spark off the bench,” coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “Take and make open shots and facilitate when the defense dictates it. We’ve tried our best to simplify his role. He’s bought into the team and he’s trying to do what’s best for the group. He’s become a star in his role.”

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Center Nikola Vucevic said that being traded to the Bulls last season was a mutual decision between him and the Magic‘s front office, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. “It was something that we discussed a lot and it was mutually agreed,” he said. “It wasn’t a situation where they told me I wasn’t going to get traded, and then I get traded. A lot of it came from my communication with them, so it wasn’t a surprise for me. … It wasn’t working the way we wanted it, and I think it worked out for both parties in the end.’’
  • Despite the Pistons’ poor record, The Athletic’s James Edwards III doubts the front office will make any significant trades this season. Jerami Grant is the one significant player who could be moved, but Edwards doubts it. The most likely trade candidates are Josh Jackson (unrestricted free agent) and Hamidou Diallo (team option for next season). Coach Dwane Casey has job security after signing an extension this year, Edwards adds.
  • The Bulls’ reliance on small ball is a concern, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago writes. Houston ended its 15-game slide against Chicago, which has lost two straight. The Bulls are now at a pivotal point in their season. “There’s got to be an internal drive,” coach Billy Donovan said. “We have shown signs of doing that. But we haven’t shown signs of doing it consistently enough.”

Central Notes: Allen, Markkanen, Love, Diallo, Carlisle

The Cavaliers are hopeful they’ll be closer to full strength by Monday, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer tweets. Jarrett Allen missed the team’s game against the Lakers on Thursday with an illness. Lamar Stevens is rehabbing from a right ankle sprain and Lauri Markkanen is reconditioning after a bout with COVID-19, but there’s a belief that all three players could return early next week.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Cavaliers forward Kevin Love didn’t require hospitalization but his bout with COVID-19 was a rough one, according to Fedor“I went through it,” Love said. “The first four or five days were pretty tough. All the usual symptoms that I think people might get. Crazy muscle aches, sensitive skin, can’t smell, taste, muscle spasms, fatigue. Then just chest and head got hit pretty tough as well.” Love had 11 points and nine rebounds in 21 minutes while playing for the first time this month on Wednesday.
  • Pistons wings Hamidou Diallo and Josh Jackson have been fighting for minutes on the second unit. Diallo had five DNPs this month but played 14 minutes in the team’s win over Indiana while Jackson was benched. Diallo made a layup on the only shot he attempted and had two rebounds but coach Dwane Casey thought he was way better than the stat sheet indicated. “He played within himself, got the rebound, got it to the point guard and defensively, he was solid,” Casey said. “He did a great job in our traps, even forced (Indiana) to call a timeout.” Jackson will be an unrestricted free agent after the season, and Diallo could return to free agency as well if the club declines its option on his 2022/23 contract.
  • Pacers coach Rick Carlisle felt his team simply didn’t play hard enough in an eight-point loss at Detroit on Wednesday, James Boyd of The Indianapolis Star relays. “This isn’t a ball movement issue. This is a hard play issue,” Carlisle said. “(Detroit) played harder. They took us out of the majority of things that we were trying to do offensively in the first half, and we’ve just got to play harder and with more force at both ends.”

Pistons Notes: Cunningham, Rotation, Jackson, Pickett

Top pick Cade Cunningham is dealing with an ankle sprain and has missed some practice time, Omari Sankofa II of the Detroit Free Press tweets. The medical staff is being very cautious with the Pistons’ prized rookie so that the injury doesn’t linger.

Cunningham has been doing some light shooting drills, Rod Beard of The Detroit News tweets. It appears unlikely that the rookie guard will play in the team’s preseason opener on Wednesday.

We have more on the Pistons:

  • Head coach Dwane Casey will serve youth, mainly in the starting lineup, and rely on veterans on the second unit, according to Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. “I think we’re going to have probably two different units – one a younger unit that’s going to bring energy and the second unit will probably have more experience,” Casey said. Cunningham will likely be joined by second-year players Saddiq Bey and Killian Hayes in the starting unit, as well as possibly Isaiah Stewart. Casey is still mulling whether to go with Stewart or free agent signee Kelly Olynyk as the starting center. Cory Joseph will likely be the second-unit floor leader with Hamidou Diallo, Josh Jackson, Frank Jackson and Trey Lyles fighting for playing time.
  • Frank Jackson, like Cunningham, is dealing with an ankle injury, Sankofa adds in a separate tweet. He was re-signed as a restricted free agent on a two-year, $6.2MM deal that includes a team option next summer.
  • Jamorko Pickett continues to earn the admiration of the coaching staff, James Edwards III of The Athletic tweets. “I’m really impressed with Jamorko Pickett, as far as his game, approach, maturity and communication,” Casey said. An undrafted forward out of Georgetown, Pickett recently had his non-guaranteed camp deal upgraded to a two-way contract.

Pistons Notes: David, Diallo, Pickett, Schedule

George David has reached an agreement with the Pistons to become an assistant general manager, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets. It will be a second stint in the organization for David, who spent 19 seasons in Detroit’s front office before joining Wasserman Media Group in 2015. David, who spent the bulk of his previous time in the organization in scouting and player evaluation, has strong ties with GM Troy Weaver, Wojnarowski adds in another tweet.

We have more on the Pistons:

  • The two-year contract signed by Hamidou Diallo is worth a flat $5.2MM in each season, Keith Smith tweets. The second year, as previously noted, is a team option. Diallo entered the month as a restricted free agent.
  • Jamorko Pickett, who signed an Exhibit 10 contract, has an uphill climb to make the opening-day roster, but he has no doubt he’s good enough to play in the NBA, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com writes. Pickett, who played four seasons at Georgetown, averaged 9.8 PPG and 3.8 RPG in the Las Vegas summer league. “I was given opportunities and I took the most of them,” he said. “I know I belong here. It’s always having that mindset – knowing I belong, knowing I should start. That’s what pushed me when I did have the opportunity to excel.”
  • Cade Cunningham will make his regular season debut at home against Chicago on Oct. 20, Langlois notes while breaking down the regular-season slate. The NBA released team schedules on Friday. The Pistons’ schedule can be accessed here.

Hamidou Diallo Re-Signs With Pistons On Two-Year Contract

8:35pm: A team press release has confirmed the signing, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com tweets. The second year of the contract is a team option, James Edwards III of The Athletic tweets.


5:04pm: Restricted free agent Hamidou Diallo will remain with the Pistons on a two-year, $10.4MM deal, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets.

Diallo’s agents, Thad Foucher and Joe Smith, informed Wojnarowski of the decision.

As Bobby Marks of ESPN notes (Twitter link), the Pistons will eventually have to make another roster move to fit in Diallo, since they now have 16 guaranteed contracts on their books. There’s no rush to make that move, since teams can carry up to 20 players in the offseason.

Diallo appeared in 20 games after Detroit acquired him from Oklahoma City, averaging 11.2 PPG, 5.4 RPG and 1.2 APG. The high-flying Diallo also showed improvement with his 3-point shot after the mid-season trade, draining 39% of his 3-point shots. He had a breakout season with extended playing time, as he also averaged 11.9 for OKC in 32 games.

A 2018 second-round selection, Diallo appeared in 129 games with the Thunder. He’s averaged 7.5 PPG and 3.6 RPG in 17.8 MPG during his three-year career.

General manager Troy Weaver, a former Thunder executive, had prioritized re-signing Diallo this offseason. Detroit extended a qualifying offer of $2.08MM to make him a restricted free agent.

Diallo joins a crowd at the wing that includes top pick Cade Cunningham, who will often share the floor with Killian Hayes, as well Saddiq Bey, Josh Jackson, Rodney McGruder, Frank Jackson and Jerami Grant (in bigger lineups).

Central Notes: Markkanen, Diallo, Mobley, Stevens

The NBA’s investigation of the Bulls for possible tampering involving Lonzo Ball could complicate efforts to find a new team for Lauri Markkanen, writes K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. Because Markkanen is a restricted free agent, he will need cooperation from Chicago to go elsewhere, either by not matching his offer or working out a sign-and-trade, but Johnson doesn’t believe the league will permit sign-and-trade negotiations until the probe of the early agreement with Ball is wrapped up.

The Pelicans and Mavericks both have large trade exceptions, so they remain potential destinations for Markkanen, Johnson adds. The Bulls are asking for a first-round pick in any sign-and-trade deal, and they’re not willing to take on a large, lengthy contract in return. Another possibility is for Markkanen to accept his one-year, $9MM qualifying offer and remain in Chicago, but he has indicated that he prefers to play somewhere else next season.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • The Pistons will face a roster crunch if they keep restricted free agent Hamidou Diallo, observes James L. Edwards III of The Athletic. Detroit already has 15 guaranteed contracts for the upcoming season, and while Diallo is searching for a better deal than his $2.1MM qualifying offer, he will likely sign it if he can’t get more money elsewhere. Edwards expects Josh Jackson, Jahlil Okafor or Sekou Doumbouya to be traded or released if Diallo stays in Detroit.
  • Jordan Brink and Austin Dufault have been promoted to player development coaches with the Pistons, Edwards tweets. Brink has been with the team since 2016 and is the only remaining member of Stan Van Gundy’s staff. Dufault played collegiately at Colorado and spent six seasons as a player in Europe.
  • The Cavaliers were satisfied with their Summer League showing, which included the first on-court experience for No. 3 pick Evan Mobley, per Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. In three games, Mobley showed off the skills that made him one of the top prospects in the draft, but also displayed areas where he needs work, as he shot just 1 of 8 from three-point range and didn’t have reliable moves in the post. Summer League also provided a showcase for Lamar Stevens, Fedor adds, who could end up fighting for the final roster spot with Mfiondu Kabengele and Damyean Dotson if the team makes more roster additions.