Gorgui Dieng, 6'11, 235 lbs., C, Junior, Louisville

Gorgui Dieng, 6'11, 235 lbs., C, Junior, Louisville

Athletically, Dieng rates very well in terms of pure speed, lateral quickness, and solid leaping ability at the center position.  With his long wing-span, Dieng has the opportunity to be a special defender at the next level.

Size

While slightly a bit thin for a center at 6’11 while only weighing around 235, Dieng makes up for it by being wiry-strong and a nice wing-span at 7’3.  With his above average athletic ability, Dieng can make up a lot of ground in the middle in protecting the paint.

Off-Court Issues

There are reportedly nothing but good things to say about Dieng.

Basketball IQ and Will to Want It

Dieng has only been playing organized basketball for only 5 or 6 years.  His understanding of the game has improved rapidly though, and he's played at a high level with remarkable skill given how little he's played organized ball.  Though he is already 23 and still raw in many aspects, he shows a great understanding of the game in terms of defensive angles, shot blocking timing, passing the ball, and offensive spacing.

His quick progress in learning to play the game along with his hustle shows a strong work ethic and will to win. Dieng was an anchor that logged many minutes for Louisville’s all-out defensive attack.

Skill

Offensively, Dieng doesn't offer much in terms of shot creation or offensive creativity.  Stating this, he should not be a liability at the next level due to his mid-range jumper and ability to pass at his position.    Dieng sets great screens and to either roll to the basket or to an open space for a mid-range jumper. 

Dieng is a great passer at his position as he averaged 2 assists a game.  He hustles for offensive rebounds shows great positioning on the glass.  While Dieng is not a pure mid-range jump shooter yet, he was much better this past season and continues to show improvement throughout this area.

Defensively, Dieng does a great job of clogging the lane.  With his excellent wing-span, Dieng blocked 2.5 shots a game, 1.3 steals a game, and near 9.5 rebounds per game.  He manages those defensive numbers while only fouling twice per game.  While he is somewhat skinny, Dieng does well with positioning in the low-post and can deter players with his long wing-span.  While not an ideal situation, Dieng has solid lateral quickness to occasionally guard the switch on the perimeter player on iso-situation.

Stating this, Dieng also has some glaring weaknesses.  Offensively, Dieng is not really a threat to score outside of cutting to the basket or shooting a mid-range jumper.  Dieng is very mechanical in the post.  Defensively, Dieng occasionally goes for the pump-fake on shots and ends up fouling that person.  While this is minimal, it does show that he still has some way to go.

Overall

Overall, to me Dieng is going to be one of the top players in this draft (top 5) and one of the safest pickis in this draft.  If Dieng pans out well, I feel you have an all defensive-team type player for the future.  Combine this with his smart decision making and jumper, you have perhaps a great unselfish teammate and fixture for a team.

How does he fit with the Bulls?

Name purposes alone, we might need to trade Deng if we draft Dieng.  Seriously, he fits a great need a great back-up Center for Noah.  Honestly, he provides great depth for Noah if we wanted a serious player in return for Noah also in the future.  My perception would be that Coach Thibs will love Dieng and will utilize him correctly.  With his high basketball IQ and unselfishness, I feel you are going to have a sleeper in this draft.  Stating this, I figure he might be slightly out of our reach.  While we could use a better scoring option in this draft, you are more likely to not find it in this draft, and he is probably going to be one of the better players in this draft.

My impressions

My impressions of Dieng is like getting a player such as Larry Sanders or Samuel Dalembert with passing skills, a mid-range jumper, more lateral quickness,  and higher Basketball IQ.  He will probably move up the draft but is also one of the safest picks in this draft based on defensive ability.

Comments

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  • If available, Dieng will be the Bulls pick - he just fits the Gar/Pax MO. Plus, next year the Bulls can let Deng go and the front office can trick Thibs into thinking Deng is still on the team - he'll never be the wiser. As an additional bonus it will be fun to hear Funk get them confused for each other.

    With earnestness though, I'd be a fan of a Dieng pick.

  • I really like this kid. I honestly don't understand why so many draft boards have him so low. There should be no way he is still around at 20, but I'm hoping those boards are right.

  • In reply to PaBullfan:

    I'd be willing to bet Dieng will be gone by the 20th pick. Philly needs a big man after the Bymum trade bust and they pick a few spots ahead of the Bulls. If Dieng is gone by the time the Bulls pick they neex to draft an athletic sg and use their second round pick on a big man.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Dieng would be perfect for backup center to injury plagued Noah but he won't be there at 20 with so many teams in front of us needing a center. The Bulls will have to trade up to the 15th or 16 spot to get Dieng. We're going to end up with Withey. There's a slight chance the Bulls go for a wing with the Deng contract up in the air but I doubt it. They can always sign young free agent small forward Al Farooq Aminu who still shows potential to be a solid starter and he was a lottery pick. Dieng would be a great fit in Thibodeau's system but the Bulls have to get creative to move up to get him.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    I agree!

  • Dieng looks like a solid player, but is he a real difference maker?
    He can be a good piece for a bench role, but he won't make the Bulls contenders.

    Well, who would? We don't really know, but potentially guys like Erick Green, Hardaway Jr, Ledo, and a few others with a huge ceiling. Take a shot at a couple of these guys. If one hits, the Bulls are instant contenders.

    Even 2nd rounders have become elite, like Redd and Arenas. These are the guys the Bulls should be fishing for. Get the backup C from FA (or a late 2nd round pick).

  • Thanks for the review Kevin. The draft junkie enabling continues. Boo-yah!(OK, that was lame.)

    I realize some of the points I'm making you already touched on, but Dieng for myself is a prime player of interest at No. 20. And apparently scouting services agree as both DraftExpress and NBADraft.Net have Gorgui Dieng slotted at the Bulls selection at No.20. Irony? I think not(ha, ha.)

    "Top 5 pick in the draft." A strong statement. And one I respect. I doubt a lot of scouts would rank him that high, and I like someone willing to defy convention as in has some guts. Though truly this is hardly a LeBron, Wade "our savior is on the way" draft or even a Derrick Rose, Kevin Love bumper crop for that matter.

    Personally, I think Dieng could be a potential starter in the league and a solid defensive stopper at center. It's worth noting however, his athleticism is borderline exceptional at best. I believe he passed on the combine pre-draft measurement workouts which is somewhat concerning unless he has a "promise" from some franchise who wants to shut him down to snatch him up. Still, I don't see that for a guy with somewhat questioned athleticism and a fairly limited offensive game

    Most scouting services do not have Dieng rated as exceptional when it comes to lateral quickness. That said, he does seem effective defensively including in some instances on the perimeter. A good instinctive player with weakside help capabilities. And obviously a good grasp of being an effective shot blocker. At his size, which is a legit 6'11 with a 7'3 wingspan, borderline exceptional athleticism is amplified in essence making him exceptional, if that makes any sense. Plus he has good instincts and the motor to boot.

    His mid range shot appears smooth with a high release point making him less likely to get his shot blocked. While he makes some intriguing moves occasionally to the basket, I don't see him as any kind of future scorer per se. But it's possible he could emerge with a 10-12ppg 48% and up with 9-10 boards respectable big line.

    Remembering that Dieng is 23 years old which makes him four years older then many of the elite players he squared off against this season. On the other hand he's NBA ready. Also has the competitive spirit that helped guide Louisville to a title and garnered the interest of Rick Pitino.

    Dieng as Kevin stated is also regarded as a very good passer. Honestly, I only watched him in the tournament. And I was impressed. He does have that pro feel from a size standpoint, the smooth mid range jumpers, shot blocking etc. He just sort of has that Mutombo or Karl Malone feel in the way he carries himself on the court( I mean in stature and carriage only - not ability obviously). Still, that's intriguing. In interviews I mean it's hard to tell without watching how a guy comports himself game after game, but he appears to be a solid personality which is all important of course.

    Again, he looks the part of a legitimate NBA big. However as we all know looks can be deceiving. Still, I think Dieng would be a shrewd pick at No.20, and could be become a good NBA player who is NBA ready from day one., but again somewhat one dimensional most likely.

    If Hardaway is gone I couldn't blame the Bulls necessarily for taking Mt Gorgui. Still, like any prospect nothing is guaranteeing he will be a success at the NBA level with limited speed down court and not a lot of standing vertical explosiveness. But at 7'3 wingspan that is somewhat overrated.

    There are other offensive options at guard which we are in dire need of that I might pursue instead though granted it's a risk. A lot hinges on do people think the Bulls can make a run now with Rose? Or do we/can we dump Gar/Pax loverboy Hinrich and if they don't resign Nate Robinson(which would suck in my opinion).. and are willing to play Derrick a little at the two as they somewhat reload for a run in the near future. Questions? Questions?.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    I love Dieng because under Coach Thibs he would be a monster. Also, if he does well, I can see Noah being trade bait cause you can get something for him - though the Bulls wouldn't do it. Dieng can D, board, block, steal, pass, and shoot a mid-range jumper!

  • In reply to kevinstates:

    Basically that was my argument for matching Asik's contract and dealing with the 3rd year of the deal in the summer of 2014

  • I only saw Dieng play in the tournament, but he immediately jumped out to me as a perfect fit for the Bulls. All his strengths are Bulls/Thibs type strengths and all of weaknesses are Bulls/Thibs type weaknesses. Basically, good/great D, weak/no O.

    He would be my #1 pick @20, both because of the type of player that he is and because of need. Hopefully he could finally salve the wound of losing Asik.

    He has been steadily dropping on most draft boards into the 20's. I also don't seem to believe this. Keeping my fingers crossed.

    I am looking forward to your review(compare/contrast) on Olynyk, who seems to be the complete opposite of Dieng, an offensive talent and most likely a stretch 4 not a center and not an interior defender.

    Personally, something doesn't feel right about Olynyk, but I have read a number of glowing reviews about his offensive skill set, which is clearly something that the Bulls could use.

    Maybe we make the NBA insider trade of Deng and Teague to Cleveland for Varejao and the 19th and 31st picks to give us more options in the draft.

  • Bulls need to trade up...or try and get mavericks 13th pick. Can bulls trade next years 1st round pick + etc to get pick another's teams pick(mavericks) if team is interested of course??

  • In reply to bullzfan:

    They can, but next year's draft is loaded possibly!

  • I know people are really high on Dieng but I'm just fine with Withey. Withey might even be preferable in some ways. He has energy guy/long term backup written on him. He's a slightly better shot blocker (statistically), I love him in transition, and it's more likely the Bulls will be able to afford his second contract. I just don't think it's worth moving heaven and earth to trade up for Dieng if his ceiling is Dalembert as Kev says.

  • If you're going to make a strong move to climb the draft board for a center Adams should be the target (is he projected lottery now?). Funny thing, if you watch the DraftExpress vids for the top centers in the draft every single one of them has at least one clip of the guy getting schooled by Adams. It's great!

  • Could there have been a more nauseating way for SA to choke away a championship in the last 30 seconds and allow Miami to win the game to survive for game 7.

    Credit to both Lebron and Allen for hitting those 2 3's, but they shouldn't have even had a chance if SA doesn't give up 2 offensive rebounds in the last 30 seconds with Tim Duncan on the bench for no fucking apparent reason. Yea, Popovich is a fucking genious. and even that shouldn't have mattered if the Spurs didn't miss 2 free throws in the last 40 seconds.

    Fuck, I won't be able to sleep tonight and I'm not even a Spurs fan.

    Miami probably blows them out in game 7. This is going to be worse than having to watch the BozoHole for 5 years.

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