Summer League in Review: Ousmane Diengimage via Thunder

Summer League in Review: Ousmane Dieng

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We’re digging in on the Summer League performances, of which the Thunder had heaps.

Previous player breakdowns

Chet Holmgren

Gabe Brown

Jaden Shackelford

Abdul Gaddy

Kevin Kangu

Robert Baker

Contextualizing the numbers

Most exhibition statistics, primarily the percentages from the field, have little to no correlation to players’ output during real NBA minutes. The Summer League is more about the process and how these players are doing what they are doing on the floor.

This helpful guide by Owen Phillips showcases which Summer League numbers are sticky when projecting a player in their first season:

  • Three Point Attempts
  • Assists
  • Blocks
  • Offensive Rebounds
  • Field Goal Attempts

As Phillips shows, all of these categories are less affected by statistical noise when compared to their counterparts. The least correlated stats from Summer League are:

  • FT%
  • Three Point %
  • Steals
  • Free Throw Attempts
  • FG%

With these caveats out of the way, we’ll be digging into how OKC’s young prospects performed in Utah and Vegas.

Ousmane Dieng

I was pretty disappointed when watching Dieng for most of Summer League. Not only because he just wasn’t very good, but because the thing that makes him an intriguing prospect–his passing and ball handling–was rarely on display. When Giddey was off the floor versus Sacramento, Dieng handled the ball a lot more and looked for his own shot more often. That was his best game of the summer, but prior to that a lot of his shots were C&S and spot-up threes, not something he is good at (but encouraging to see). This ties back into my immediate thought after the draft: I’m not sure how Dieng is expected to develop on this team with so many ball handlers, but we’ll see how it plays out.

Everyone should have expected him to be a project in year one at the least, and he showed why throughout his five games. He had a few incredible flashes of length, one specifically where he took one dribble and got all the way to the rim from beyond the three-point line. Another one was a great weakside rotation and block against Sacramento that showed off his defensive potential. That was a great improvement from his first game in Utah where he was getting torched defensively at the point of attack. He got up a lot of threes; despite them not going in (Dieng finished 5 for 25 from three) volume is always good in settings like this for guys who want to get jump shot reps in. The shot still looks good aesthetically but it just does not fall. It’s gonna be a long process with Dieng, but my opinion on him has not swayed since draft night.

Ousmane did suffer an injury that kept him out of the last couple games, but it is a non-issue as he’ll be ready at the start of training camp.