The NBA G-League Elite Camp wrapped up Tuesday, while the NBA Draft Combine begins Thursday. That makes this a busy week for some of Virginia’s National Championship players.
Mamadi Diakite participated in the G-League Elite Camp for two days. Testing information on early entry prospects at the event have been scarce, but the 6’9” Diakite did clip 141.5 inches at the Max Jump. For reference, Oregon’s Kenny Wooten Jr. (6’9”) posted 150.5 and Syracuse’s Tyus Battle (6’6”) hit 137.5 in the same drill. You can see Diakite’s effort in this video:
— NBA G League (@nbagleague) May 13, 2019
Diakite played on Team 4 in the scrimmage portion of the camp with teammates such as Virginia Tech’s Justin Robinson, UNC’s Luke Maye, Nevada’s Cody Martin, Arizona State’s Zylan Cheatham, and Central Florida duo Aubrey Dawkins and Tacko Fall. In the first game, Diakite finished with 7 points on 2-of-6 shooting with 4 rebounds, 2 steals, 3 turnovers, and 5 fouls. In the second game, Diakite had 2 points on 0-7 shooting with 2 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 blocked shot, 1 turnover, and 1 foul. Combined, that added up to 9 points on 2-13 shooting with 6 rebounds, 3 steals, 1 blocked shot, 4 turnovers, and 6 fouls. Diakite’s team lost both games, which as a reminder to UVA fans is equal to 1/3 of the six total games Diakite’s Hoos lost over the last two years.
After the G-Leage Elite Camp, 10 players received an advanced invitation to the NBA Combine. Diakite did not make that list. Martin and Fall from Team 4 did; so did former Cavalier Marial Shayok, who played his final season at Iowa State. No early entry players from 2018 that weren’t invited to the Combine were selected in the 2018 NBA Draft.
Diakite, who has worked out with the Jazz and Hawks in small group settings already, now has two weeks to decide whether to withdraw his name from the 2019 NBA Draft and potentially return to Virginia. The deadline for that decision is Wednesday, May 29. If Diakite chooses to play his final year with the Hoos, he’d likely be a full-time starter and a focal point of the team.
That’s because UVA’s three other early entry players have announced they will not be back with the Cavaliers. De’Andre Hunter, Ty Jerome, and Kyle Guy made their intentions clear last month. All three received invitations to the NBA Draft Combine that begins Thursday.
Hunter, however, withdrew from the event this week. That’s because he’s viewed as a top 10 pick in the upcoming draft and there is little to no upside in participating in the Combine. The NBA Draft lottery established the top 14 picking order Tuesday night with New Orleans securing the top pick. The full order unfolded this way: New Orleans Pelicans, Memphis Grizzlies, New York Knincks, Los Angeles Lakers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Phoenix Suns, Chicago Bulls, Atlanta Hawks, Washington Wizards, Atlanta Hawks (from Dallas), Minnesota Timberwolves, Charlotte Hornets, Miami Heat, and Boston Celtics (from Sacramento). Early projections now have Hunter going somewhere in the four to eight range among the Lakers, Cavaliers, Suns, Bulls, and Hawks.
Jerome and Guy are expected to participate in the NBA Draft Combine. Jerome is receiving projecdtions as high as No. 20 to the Celtics, while Guy is trying to work himself on to mock draft boards.