Mamadi Diakite found himself as an emerging star in college basketball during the 2019 NCAA Tournament championship run for the Virginia Cavaliers. As a senior and the lone star for Virginia, Diakite averaged 13.7 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 0.6 APG, 0.8 SPG, 1.3 BPG, and 2.1 TOPG on shooting splits of 48/36/75.
*Measurements below will be filled in if/when measurements are released from the NBA Combine
Name: Mamadi Diakite
Wingspan/ standing reach:
Tools: Frame, versatility
- Jump shooting upside
- Versatile defensively
- Pick & pop threat
- Good athlete with good burst
- Plus team defender; high defensive IQ
- Active hands defensively
- Improved post footwork
- Sometimes finds himself in foul trouble
- Doesn’t rack up assists
- Needs to continue improving ball handling
- Must continue adding strength/weight
Diakite brings a lot of intriguing tools to the table as a modern power forward. He can guard multiple positions, he has the ability to stretch the floor, he is a good athlete, and he is a projectable defender at the next level with a good frame. Diakite has developed well at Virginia, and should continue developing in the NBA as a key role player. His high floor makes him an attractive target in the 2nd round as he can be a 3&D stretch 4/ 5, which has become a rare breed in the NBA, a la Maxi Kleber.
Defensively, Diakite can defend some small forwards/wings as well as both power forwards and centers. He also has active hands to go along with long arms and plus lateral quickness, which are key factors in his versatility. Diakite needs to add weight and limit foul trouble to continue improving his NBA readiness on the defensive end.
Offensively, Diakite offers value as a stretch 4 and P&R roll man. Diakite is intelligent in coming off of screens, knowing both when to pop for 3 and when to roll for a layup/dunk. While Diakite is not a threat off the dribble from 3, he is primarily a catch & shoot 3 point shooter. Additionally, Diakite has quick explosion out of post ups, which helps him exploit mismatches.
NBA Comparison: Floor: John Henson; ceiling: Maxi Kleber
Projected draft range: 30-60
Fit with Mavs:
Diakite fits perfectly with the Mavericks for several reasons:
- High floor and fills an immediate need of front court defense
- Versatility offensively and ability to stretch the floor
- His basketball IQ meshes with the coaching staff and selfless culture the Mavericks have established.
Diakite has been notably considered coachable, and he is also a product of Virginia, whose players have always been heavily pursued by the Mavs due to Rick Carlisle’s UVA ties. Offensively, Diakite can be easily utilized in low-pressure situations as a potential 8th-11th man off the bench early on, where he would primarily play a similar role to Maxi Kleber’s rookie year. Kleber was a defensive force from day one, with the ability to knock down the occasional 3, but ultimately his role offensively was to screen for others and space the floor. Defensively, Diakite would have a large role as a switchable rim protector and help-side defender. All of these areas are realistic for him to have a positive impact in his first season with Dallas.