SCHOOL/ TEAM: NZ Breakers (New Zealand)
Good athlete with NBA physical tools
Mobile, fluid & fast in open floor
Solid first step
Really good handle and creativity for a 6'9 wing
Upside as a shot creator
Highly skilled and versatile
Can make plays out of pick & roll
Good court vision and instincts as a passer
Effective pull up shooter
Big guard/ wing initiator
Paul George type game
AREAS TO IMPROVE
Inefficient from field over last two seasons
Finishing at the rim
Settles for jumpers
Does not get to free throw line
France's Ousmane Dieng is one of the most highly regarded international prospects and became somewhat of a pioneer in Europe by deciding to spend the 2021-22 season in Australia’s NBL with the New Zealand Breakers.
Dieng’s name has been buzzing as a potential lottery pick in 2022.. And I totally understand why.
I briefly had a chance to watch him play pick up in Los Angeles a few weeks ago and his size, ball handling and potential as a shot creator really stood out to me. I’ve seen the Paul George comparisons and one of the players he was competing against in the pick up games though Dieng played like Michael Porter Jr.
Either way Dieng is in good company is his game is similar to George or Porter, Jr. since both are highly skilled versatile wings ranging from 6’8” to 6’10” that can play both forward spots.
Dieng's film was not as accessible as others prospects I’ve done videos on, but in the games I was able to watch, I saw a promising shooter with a nice stroke and a lot of confidence. He’s averaged around 6 or 7 3 point attempts per games over the last 2 years in various leagues and tournaments.
While he has not been efficient, he’s shown flashes of being able to catch and shoot and knock down 3’s coming off movement plays.
There are 3 areas of Dieng’s game that makes him one of the more intriguing and high upside prospects in in the world.
One is ability to score as a pull up shot maker and use his height to shooter over the top of defenders.
Another category that stands out his how he he’s shown he’s capable of making plays out of ball screens as the the pick & roll ball handler. Remember this kid is 6’9” and 6’9” playmakers have incredible value in today’s NBA.
Dieng's awareness out of ball screens, his handle, creativity and shot making skills is what makes me really high on him as an NBA prospect.
In my opinion the skill set that could really determine Dieng’s ceiling is his passing..
I believe he’ll develop into a consistent 20 ppg scorer, but if he can become reliable playmaker and a secondary ball handler he could be really, really special.
The flashes of playmaking he’s shown at this stage in his career is what’s has lead to the Paul George comparisons.
I’m really looking forward to seeing how he’s used in New Zealand and if he’ll be allowed to showcase his versatility and passing instincts as a ball handler.
In my opinion the Breakers didn’t use RJ Hampton correctly during his time in Auckland and Hampton went from being a lead ball handler to spot up shooter.. But in their defense they had multiple veteran ball handlers who also were best with the ball in their hands. Since RJ was the rookie he was the low man on the totem poll, but hopefully Diengs situation is different.
As far as areas for improvement I’d like to see him become more of a consistent shooter. On paper the numbers aren’t impressive as Dieng has been inefficient from the floor in professional games in France, the Adidas NGT and in FIBA play.
I’d also like to see him become more aggressive in attacking the rim. He has the physical tools to be an effective downhill slasher but he prefers to shoot jumpers over going to the basket. Based off the numbers I’ve seen. He shoots around 5 threes per free throw attempt.
However, when he has looked to finish at the rim he’s struggled scoring in traffic…
Lastly, he’ll need to improve as a decision maker, which in my opinion includes being more balanced in his shot selection and getting to the rim where he can collect easy points off free throws and also as a playmaker.
Again these stats are based off the numbers posted on RealGM, Dieng has a negative assists to turnover ratio over the last 2 season.
But none of this scares me or has me concerned. At the very minimum Dieng should be able to carve out an NBA career similar to fellow Frenchmen Nic Batum who’s been successful as a long versatile wing defender that can knock down open shots and serve as a secondary or third ball handler..
Rafael Barlowe - August 28, 2021