NBA Draft 2018: Hamidou Diallo becomes fourth Kentucky player to declare for draft

Kentucky freshman Hamidou Diallo announced Monday that he will enter his name into the 2018 NBA Draft. It's the second time in as many seasons he'll have done so, though this time he says he intends to sign with an agent. 

"A year ago I tested the waters to get some feedback and then made the best possible decision for my career. I chose to come back and I'm so happy I did," Diallo said. "It was one of the best decisions I've ever made. Nothing made me prouder than to put that Kentucky name across my chest.

"Coming back to school I knew wasn't going to be easy Coach Cal told me it would be the hardest thing I would ever have to do and it was. But I grew up and became a man this year on and off the court. I know I've only scratched the surface with my game, but I'm now prepared to do it because of the work I've put in at Kentucky and the support of everyone at this university. With that said, I'm entering my name into the 2018 NBA Draft and am ready to take the next step."

Diallo's announcement marks the fourth Wildcats underclassmen to declare for the NBA Draft this off-season, joining Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Kevin Knox, both of which have intentions to sign with agents. Freshman P.J. Washington has also declared for the draft, but is leaving the door open for a possible return. 

Though Diallo's production was somewhat inconsistent as a freshman at Kentucky, his measurables and athleticism suggest he could easily be a first-round selection based off upside alone. At the NBA combine last season, he registered the best vertical jump of any participating player at 44.5 inches, and his highlight reel dunks during his lone season in Lexington left many tantalized by his talents. 

Diallo averaged 10 points and 3.6 rebounds per game as a freshman last season. 

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