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.
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.
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.
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, 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 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.