OKC Thunder pull off Draft Night trade with Knicks for Ousmane Dieng

The 2022 NBA Draft was kick-started by a surprising first-overall pick as the Orlando Magic selected Paolo Banchero out of Duke, rather than the presumed number one overall pick Jabari Smith Jr. Despite this Draft night stunner, Sam Presti stuck with his guy, Chet Holmgren, with the second overall pick.

The Oklahoma City Thunder entered the night with three selections the 2nd, 12th, and 34th picks in Thursday’s draft. Well, they also were equipped with historic future draft capital, and Thunder General Manager Sam Presti decided to use some of it.

With the New York Knicks on the clock, looking to shed salary and pursue Jale Brunson, the organization elected to trade the 11th overall pick. Presti swooped in gifting the Knicks three future first-round picks in exchange for the 11th selection while keeping the 12th pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. The Knicks parlayed one of those draft picks in a separate draft day move.

OKC Thunder trade for Ousmane Dieng from the New York Knicks give up three future first-round picks

The OKC Thunder sent the Knicks three picks in the 2023 NBA Draft one via the Wizards (Top-14 protected), one via the Nuggets (Top-14 protected), and one via the Pistons (Top-18 protected) for Ousmane Dieng of The New Zealand Breakers.

This was the second of what would be four selects in the 2022 NBA Draft by Sam Presti who already snagged Chet Holmgren with the 2nd overall pick.

Ousmane Dieng is a 6’10 project prospect with guard skills. At just 19 years old, the 200-pound big man averaged seven points, three rebounds, and an assist per game in the NBL.

Sam Presti first saw Ousmane Dieng at 16 years old at Tony Parker’s basketball academy in France. From age 16 to 19, Dieng has grown from 6’3 to 6’10 “but kept the guard skills.” Front office executives Will Dawkins and Sam Presti said after the draft to those of us in the media.

While the three first-round picks may seem high, it is important to note two of those were acquired for last year’s 16th pick (Alprene Sengun) from the Houston Rockets. In a way, it was the value of last year’s 16th pick, plus Denver’s selection next season.

Ousmane Dieng is a fantastic ball-handler and playmaker for his size. His length mixed with his elite vision allows him to do jaw-dropping things on the basketball. Ousmane Dieng was dreadful from beyond the arc shooting just 21 percent last year for the Breakers. The young wing tends to shy away from contact and can get sloppy with his passes, but if he grows as a shooter and defender, he can be another unicorn-type player for OKC.