Monday, March 28, 2016

Reports: KU freshman Cheick Diallo to declare for NBA draft; won’t hire agent

Kansas forward Cheick Diallo (13) looks for an outlet as he is defended by UC Irvine forward Brandon Smith (13) and center Mamadou Ndiaye (34) during the second half, Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Cheick Diallo (13) looks for an outlet as he is defended by UC Irvine forward Brandon Smith (13) and center Mamadou Ndiaye (34) during the second half, Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Let the post-Madness madness begin.

With the 2015-16 Kansas University basketball season ending last Sunday in the Elite Eight in Louisville, it's time to start tracking the futures of a handful of Kansas players.

Some, such as seniors Perry Ellis, Jamari Traylor, Hunter Mickelson and Evan Manning, we know won't be back with the Jayhawks in 2016. And others, such as Cheick Diallo, Wayne Selden, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, Brannen Greene and Carlton Bragg could elect to test the NBA waters or return to school.

Monday afternoon, we got our first taste of what will happen to one of those players, as multiple reports from CBS, ESPN and others surfaced on Twitter that said sources had indicated that Diallo would declare for the NBA Draft but not hire an agent.

Players who did so in the past always were eligible to pull their names out of the hat, provided they did not hire an agent. That remains the case today and the time frame has been extended.

Under new rules, players who declare without hiring an agent now will get the opportunity to get concrete feedback from the NBA, most notably in the form of an invitation to a pre-draft combine, before making their final decisions.

Don't like what you hear? You have until May 25 to pull out and return to school for the following season. Again, that's provided you do not hire an agent, which, according to today's reports, sounds like the route Diallo is going.

This comes as no surprise. Even though he played very little during the 2015-16 season, scouts have long been wowed by Diallo's potential and raw skills. The fact that he's still so new to the game of basketball also has NBA brass drooling over his potential down the road.

It's hard to say what will happen to Diallo from here and a lot will likely depend on what he finds out in the coming weeks. lists Diallo as the No. 36 pick in its latest 2016 Mock Draft, updated Sunday. The same mock draft lists Selden at No. 41 and Ellis at No. 59. All three are second-round slots.


Craig Alexander 5 years, 8 months ago

Pretty much expected. Can't blame him with the new rules. However, if they tell him he is still in the 30th pick range after combine workout then I would expect him back. One year under the belt means he would be right there in the mix for major minutes at the 4/5 slots. What I am even more curious about is when these guys are out checking, will Self snatch up players to fill those scholarships knowing some of the guys could want to come back.

Marc Frey 5 years, 8 months ago

He had DNP-NCAA and DNP-Coaches Decision. He needs another year to actually play meaningful minutes and so real potential. Then again, he will make a bit more money, if he makes a team and DNPs.

Suzi Marshall 5 years, 8 months ago

Who in their right minds would not declare for the NBA draft? The new rules are great for the players, but a bit hard for coaches. By entering the draft and hopefully invited to the combine, they get exposure from the NBA and critical feed back to make a decision.

If a player gets a report he is targeted for mid-early second round but could become a lottery selection is he did 'this or that', he'd be wise to stay in college to work his tail off on 'this or that.'

Jay Scott 5 years, 8 months ago

Perfectly logical. Great comment. With the new rules, Svi, Greene, Bragg, Graham, Lucas and Mason wouldn't be foolish to get a little exposure and some well as Selden obviously.

Terrence Cernech 5 years, 8 months ago

In these cases involving underclassmen a big factor is the family's economic situation. If the family is in desperate straits financially and the prospect has assurances of playing in the NBA-D League then he could be paid to develop. As much as I would prefer for all team players stay at least three years, ala Seldon, our world has changed.

Bret Eckert 5 years, 8 months ago

What is he thinking. Stick around and be a lotto pick. 2 words. Cliff Alexander.

This is what is wrong with the NBA. Takes kids that have yet to prove themselves over proven players.. Potential has ruined many a career

Doug Cramer 5 years, 8 months ago

Uhhh ok.

He hardly even played...but if declaring is what he wants to be it.

Jeff Foster 5 years, 8 months ago

Just wondering out loud here, but, given that all scholarships are actually one-year-renewable deals from the schools, and given that KU has one slot open as of this moment with outgoing seniors and incoming freshman/Coleby, if KU gets a commitment from a Thon Maker and say Bolden or Jackson, does HCBS cut loose with one of the guys testing the NBA waters before May 25th for a player he's guaranteed to have rather than a player he's unsure of? Those guys still deciding now are going to want to hear a "yes or no", rather than "I have to wait and see who's coming back." Is that too much of a "D" move and give him a bad rep or is it a bit of leverage for future borderline guys who think they can get in the league?

Chris Bailey 5 years, 8 months ago

Can't even crack the top 9 at KU and he declares? Am I missing something? I don't care if they're being drafted on potential or not leaving for most of these kids is stupid!!! Josh Selby anyone? these kids never get a chance to develop and thus are a flash in the pan. Some of you are applauding it but seriously this is like an investment in their future by staying in college. We don't have a single player on our roster that should be declaring. What a travesty. It's all about money though. In a capitalistic society where we jump up and down when a CEO makes 20 million but a basketball player it's acceptable because they worked harder. I'm sick of this one and done crap. It's bad for the game and does a complete disservice to the kids.

Jay Scott 5 years, 8 months ago

People that jump up and down when a CEO makes 20 mil are no barometer of intelligent thought. I want the CEOs of stocks I own to create shareholder value. If they make money when I make money, it's better than having a less expensive AND less effective exec at the helm.

Was Wiggins a bad OAD decision? The Brow? Towns? KD?

Chris Bailey 5 years, 8 months ago

I couldn't agree more. And no they did well but the problem is the NBA doesn't care about the well-being of these kids. They draft a kid and he never develops then they've wasted a little cash but far less than if the kid had stayed in school and been a lottery pick and thus maybe developing into a quality player. We just talked about this at work. My problem isn't the fact they're testing the waters so much as they're being lured into the waters. They leave, sign a contract, and have a flash in the pan career. Then they end up broke and have nothing to show for it. No degree and most likely no money!

Joseph Bullock 5 years, 8 months ago

Craig and Jeff, I don't think any prominent coaches would screw over any players for testing the NBA waters! In fact, coach Self said this rule is great for the kids, but will be difficult on coaches, having to wait for a determination! I also think the kids trying to decide where to go to school, will simply wait and see who leaves, just as most have done in the past-they just will have to wait a little longer.

Chris Bailey 5 years, 8 months ago

Sure it's good from the standpoint of being able to come back. My argument is so many of these kids are leaving early when they're not ready and if they chose to stay they could develop into much more polished players that could have much longer futures. I really hate what the NBA does to basketball.

Craig Alexander 5 years, 8 months ago

But take for instance Jackson said he hopes to have his decision made within about 2 weeks. Granted that might just be bait but let's say it isn't. He says he wants to play at Kansas and we have 2 slots slightly open with kids entering the new NBA rule. Does he take Jackson and then deal with the fallout later or say we need to wait? If you have a top 10 player wanting to come play, do you weigh your options or take them and deal with it if a kid wants to come back? Or even worse, make the kid think they can't come back because the spot is already filled?

I think this rule will be interesting to see how it impacts things. Might not be a problem and maybe this rule leads to more teams having a slot open after all the cards are dealt for late season transfers.

Jeff Lisco 5 years, 8 months ago

So, May 26th should be the new signing day for hoops. This may be great for the players, but isn't it already easy enough for them to declare? Sounds like this could put the coach in a tough spot although I think the situation would be rare that we would choose an incoming unknown over a talent we already have in the program that's decided to test the market. Really not 100% if KU gives single year or multiple year scholarships but I thought the Big 12 went to multiyear scholarships starting the 2015 year.

Would really be nice to see the NBA and NCAA work out a plan that benefits both sides. Maybe let all college ready preps choose between the NBA/D-League draft or a minimum 2-year commitment at the college level where they are not eligible for the draft until that 2 years has expired regardless (even if they drop/flunk out). I'm sure that could lead to lawsuits from families but a guy can dream.

Martin Shupert 5 years, 8 months ago

Relax people. With the new rules, Self probably encourages everyone to go to the NBA combine. It will be a good situation for all of them to learn what they need to work on from an NBA perspective. Plus, Diallo is not hiring an agent. This is the key. Both Bragg and Diallo would be foolish to leave without at least one more year. Svi also isn't ready and I'm sure he knows it. Another year at KU doesn't simply give these guys a chance to develop their games and their bodies, you know. They also do this other thing called college. It's a good thing to have a couple years of that under your belt as you go through life. It isn't just being on the team another year.

The entire Kentucky team, even their walk ons, is going this route. There's nothing to worry about unless we hear the Jayhawk players are hiring agents. Then, well, that's a whole 'nother matter.

Charlie Gaughn 5 years, 8 months ago

That was $100,000 well spent by Zenger to hire consultants to get the kid eligible. Maybe he'll reimburse KU out of his first pay check.....

Kristen Downing 5 years, 8 months ago

You really think they know they need another year? Like Selby and Alexander knew?!

Barry Weiss 5 years, 8 months ago

I hope he comes back, first legit rim protector we've had in a long time. He has a legit jump shot too. Solid minutes and he would be a top player in the b-12 next year. I think his relationship with coach is not real good right now. I'd say he should come back, be inside the top 15 of next years draft and get a bit better contract. I don't know much about the D-League of the NBA and how much it does or does not develop a player.

David Kemp 5 years, 8 months ago

Clearly as of right now Lucas is a lock on the 5 and Bragg on the 4 and although I would like to see what diallo might do it turns out to be just another Alexander .

Jonathan Allison 5 years, 8 months ago

I'm pretty sure that it was well into June when Brandon Rush tore his ACL and decided to come back (I could be wrong about that), but this new rule is a compromised between the previous two rules. The first rule I think pretty much gave players right up until draft day to withdraw from the draft. The second rule pretty much gave them till the end of April, and didn't allow them to travel for team workouts. They were evaluated by a panel of experts and given a range where most expected them to be picked, but Bill Self did most of the work for the players by talking to his NBA contacts about what they thought of his players.

As a fan, I would expect that it will extend recruiting until the end of May, which many recruits weren't signing until May anyway, but at least if you like reading recruiting articles, then it will extend the season.

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