Checking in on Ousmane Dieng’s development

Ousmane Dieng #13 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Ousmane Dieng #13 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /
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Ousmane Dieng
Ousmane Dieng #13 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images) /

How has Ousmane Dieng progressed at the NBA G-Leauge level under head coach Kameron Woods for the OKC Blue? 

The Oklahoma City Thunder utilize the OKC Blue more than most NBA teams. Even this season, they have shuffled 34th overall pick Jaylin Williams to the G-League along with Aaron Wiggins, Tre Mann, Eugene Omoruyi, Lindy Waters III, Olivier Sarr, and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (injury rehab).

While not being sent down this year, Aleksej Pokusevski and Lu Dort have also gotten valuable NBA G-League time on their current roster.

The NBA G-Leauge proved worth it for Jaylin Williams already, who went down to the OKC Blue and dominated, including a triple-double on the ledger, before returning to the NBA to play valuable minutes for the Thunder given their injuries down low.

For Ousmane Dieng, the Oklahoma City Thunder and Blue are searching for more “offensive force” from their 19-year-old wing. Everyone knew this would be a project for the organization, and no one internally is surprised or nervous about how things are trending.

Sam Presti has monitored Dieng since he was 16, and a 6’9 playmaker with high-defensive chops and three-level scoring ability takes time to figure things out at the sport’s highest level.

At the G-Leauge level, Dieng is one of the best cutters in the league, according to Synergy, ranking in the 93rd percentile with 1.579 points per possession. Coming off of screens, Dieng is shooting 63 percent from the floor while hitting half of his shots in isolation.

Even as a spot-up shooter, the rookie thrives with 1.115 points per possession and 47 percent shooting from the floor.

Defensively, the numbers do not fully transfer over to how good he is on that end, but one area it does is in his isolation defense. Synergy ranks him as a good iso defender and a very good defender when chasing players off screens.

One area that Dieng needs to improve on during this next G-League stint is his ability to dominate a game. Even at this lower level, he often floats from spot to spot. However, his fingerprints should be all over the game, as Jaylin Williams’ were during his time with the Blue.