Louisville’s center and solid force in the frontcourt throughout their final four and championship runs in the past two seasons has been Gorgui Dieng, and now that’s he’s decided to forego his senior season and enter the draft, there’s been much speculation as to what team he’ll go to, although many are thinking it’ll be a late first-round pick.
Well today, it’s been confirmed that Gorgui Dieng will indeed be working out for the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets before the draft. Both of those teams could use Dieng for a variety of reasons. The Knicks certainly have an aging and deteriorating front court with their center being Tyson Chandler. Chandler is getting worse and worse as the years go by (despite his recent gold medal!) and the Knicks are certainly going to want to bolster their frontcourt and get a true center, as to relieve some burden off of Stoudemire and company.
The Nets on the other hand have a solid center in Brook Lopez. If the Nets were to take Dieng, it’d definitely be for his defensive prowess (his Louisville team had the best defense in the nation last year, as well as averaging 3.2 and 2.5 blocks per game in 2013 and 2012, respectively). The Nets would also just like to have him as backup for Lopez, seeing as the Nets seem to struggle down low when he’s out of the game. It’d make sense that they’d be looking at Dieng, who’s a force to be reckoned with in the post at 6’11″ and 230 lbs.
I’ve seen Dieng projected as high as 17th to the Atlanta Hawks, but I think that we’ll end up seeing him picked by either Chicago at 20th (I think he’d work well with the defensive system Thibodeau runs with the Bulls [pun intended]) or the Nets with the 22nd pick. Either way, he’s going to be a first-rounder and hopefully he’ll have an incredible amount of success in the NBA.
Below is a video of Dieng’s highlights/strengths/weaknesses courtesy of DraftExpress: