Dressed in a crimson suit, Ousmane Dieng took to the stage at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
He took a walk on NBA commissioner Adam Silver, shaking hands with a big smile on his face. Ding had just been selected No. 11 in the NBA 2022 draft.
As he hugged Silver with his hands, a huge screen behind the couple displayed the New York Knicks logo.
Dieng was chosen by the Knicks, but his celebration with New York was short-lived. Shortly after Dieng’s training, it was reported that the Oklahoma City Thunder had exchanged with him.
In return, the Knicks receive three first-round options conditionally.
“I’m just excited to be part of the NBA,” Dieng said. “OKC is a youth group. “They have some French there, so it will be nice.”
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Dieng, of Villeneuve-sur-Lot, joins Thunder Theo Maledon point guard, also from Rouen, France.
Dieng spent last season with the New Zealand Breakers in the Australian NBL, in the same league OKC guard Josh Giddey played before being drafted. 19-year-old Dieng developed into an impressive offensive threat with the NBL, displaying a high advantage of playmaking.
He averaged 8.9 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 23 games.
The Dieng has a 6-foot 10, 216-pound frame and 7-foot wingspan. He is a long guard, with strong ball handling and defensive skills, but many draft experts predict that Dieng is a raw candidate who has not made full use of his potential.
He said he hopes to spend the season improving decision-making and shooting with the Thunder.
“Everything is faster in the NBA,” Dieng said.
Dieng said he worked with the Thunder before the draft. French is his first language, but Dieng also speaks English. He is looking forward to playing against Kevin Durand in the NBA and said his salary will be spent on a new phone.
“I need an American number,” Dieng said.
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Ousmane Dieng at a glance
Born: May 21, 2003
Height Weight: 6-foot-10, 216 pounds
Hometown: Villeneuve-sur-Lot, France
Written by: First Round, No. 11 in all NY Knicks (suggested exchange to OKC Thunder)
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This article originally appeared on Oklahoman: NBA Draft: The Knicks select Ousmane Dieng at No. 11, switch to OKC Thunder