Do the Wizards have the patience to draft Ousmane Dieng?

Ousmane Dieng

The Washington Wizards have the 10th overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. Here is the latest in our series on draft prospects who could fall around where the Wizards will select...

2022 NBA Draft Wizards Prospect Profile: Ousmane Dieng

Team: New Zealand Breakers (NBL - Australia)

Position: SF/ PF

Age: 19

Height: 6-10

Weight: 216

Wingspan: 7-0

2021/22 stats: 23 G, 8.9 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.1 apg, 0.6 spg, 0.3 bpg, 39.8 FG% (3.5/8.7), 27.1 3PT% (1.1/4.2), 66.7 FT% (0.8/1.2)

Player comparison: Chandler Parsons

Projections: NBC Sports Washington 12th, Sports Illustrated 17th, Ringer 12th, Athletic 12th, ESPN 12th, NBADraft.net 25th, Bleacher Report 21st

5 things to know:

- Dieng possesses a ton of the innate skills that NBA general managers and franchises are looking for. He's a long guard who has an incredible feel for the game, a strong command of his dribble, good defensive abilities and appears to have a ton of untapped potential. A team could take Dieng and mold him into really any role they would need him to fill for a long-term plan. At first glance, his positional size, passing ability, feel for the game and versatility make him a hot commodity. 

- With all of Dieng's talent, he's still considered a raw prospect and would be limited if thrust into a large role right away. No shooting percentages in the NBL or at any level of competition are high enough to hang his hat on. He's skilled in the pick-and-roll but struggles to create for himself with pull-ups and step-backs. You'll see flashes of his potential and he still can create those elements of his game, but they aren't there yet.


-None of the Frenchman's statistics with the New Zealand Breakers are going to jump right off the page. However, if you were to isolate what he put together in his final 12 games in Australia, there are a lot of positives. He averaged 13.3 ppg on 48.4% shooting  (35.1% from three) with 4.2 rpg and 1.3 apg. That's essentially cutting the season in half, his first year as a pro. 

-While he ultimately chose to play in Australia's top league as a part of the NBL's Next Stars program, he was heavily recruited to play with G League Ignite, according to Adrian Wojnarowski. Instead, the path that LaMelo Ball and R.J. Hampton took was more appealing. 

-Only projected top-five pick Shaedon Sharpe has more unknowns surrounding him amongst the potential first-round prospects than there are with Dieng. He's length and playmaking are attractive, but his lack of an outside game, self-creation and strength doesn't fit him in a traditonal role. Whichever area of his game that a franchise hones in on will likely dictate his position.

Fit with Wizards:

Taking Ousmane Dieng at No. 10 overall would only make sense if you fully buy into the Global Wizards theory or if the team is more focused on the franchise five to 10 years from now than next season. If selected this June, reasonably the best the organization can hope is for him to be involved in the rotation at the start of the 2023-24 season.

No doubt he has potential and redrafts five years from now may slot him in as a top-five prospect from this class. It's just tough to see him making an impact this year with the competitiveness of the roster and the development that he still needs. More than anything, his selection would put Washington's development program right in the spotlight and see if it can fully maximize the upside he has.

He wouldn't answer their point guard woes or add to their 3-point shooting, at least not right away. Defense is Dieng's biggest path to a role next year; he would provide a ton of needed versatility. Guards or smaller forwards, he can make an impact at both levels. 

For a team that is looking to get back to the playoffs, or heck even the play-in tournament, they need to find contributors that will fill voids sooner righter than later.

If selected, the biggest question is where to slot him. It's likely too late to place him as a point guard at this point in his career - then again, look at Dyson Daniels - but his deep-ball shooting desperately needs improvement to be at the wing or even to have the ball outside of the arc. His length at 6-10 would suggest he could be an abridged small forward or a lanky four. Another versatile playmaker that can be positioned anywhere on the court is enticing.


That could be a possibility but, again, he would need the time to bulk up for a role like that. 

Justifying Dieng as the best player available with the most talent at No. 10 isn't far fetched. Whether or not he's the best player that can contribute for the 2022-23 season, is what the Wizards have to consider.

2022 NBA Draft profiles:

Jabari Smith Jr., Auburn

Chet Holmgren, Gonzaga

Jaden Ivey, Purdue

Paolo Banchero, Duke

Keegan Murray, Iowa

Shaedon Sharpe, Kentucky

Johnny Davis, Wisconsin

Jalen Duren, Memphis

Dyson Daniels, Ignite

Jeremey Sochan, Baylor