On Monday, the Michigan Wolverines got some significant news as star forward Moussa Diabate declared for the 2022 NBA Draft. Fans had been waiting on his decision over the last few weeks with this as a potential outcome. Diabate will maintain his eligibility.
Michigan’s Moussa Diabate has entered the 2022 draft while maintaining eligibility to return, a source tells me. The 6’10” Diabate showed flashes of promise as a freshman. His physical tools, motor and defensive versatility give him a chance to rise in the predraft process.— Jeremy Woo (@JeremyWoo) April 25, 2022
During his lone season in Ann Arbor, Diabate played in 32 games and averaged 9.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 0.9 blocks per game. He arrived on campus with an elite recruiting profile and was expected to make an early impact for the Wolverines, which he did. He was a starter all season and helped lead Michigan to a Sweet 16 run. He also earned Big Ten postseason freshmen honors.
Diabate has an interesting professional profile. While it’s unlikely he will be in serious consideration for the Lottery, it’s hard to tell where he could land after that. He has elite athleticism and is certainly viewed as an “upside” prospect, meaning he would be drafted on potential, not college production. As such, it’s really going to depend on if a team or teams love him. If so, he could go as high as the First Round. More likely, he looks like a Second Round prospect.
There are also some uncertainties regarding Diabate’s NIL potential, should he return to Ann Arbor for his sophomore season. As an international player, Diabate will be left out from some earning opportunities. We expect this is something that will be ironed out over time, but it’s certainly an area of concern now and could push Diabate to the pros.
For Michigan, this will be a key decision to watch moving forward. The Wolverines got Hunter Dickinson back over the weekend, but Diabate’s return would be great news alongside the big man. If he leaves, don’t be surprised if Michigan looks at Caleb Houstan to fill in at the four spot.
We’ll have to wait and see how things shake out, but Wolverine fans will certainly wish Diabate the best whatever he decides. It will be an interesting decision to follow.