Draped in a maroon suit, Ousmane Dieng climbed the stage at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
He strolled over to NBA commissioner Adam Silver, shaking hands with a big grin across his face. Deing had just been selected No. 11 overall in the 2022 NBA Draft.
As he embraced hands with Silver, a massive screen behind the pair displayed the New York Knicks logo.
Dieng was selected by the Knicks, but his celebration with New York was short-lived. Moments after Dieng was drafted, it was reported the Oklahoma City Thunder had traded for him.
In return, the Knicks receive three conditional first-round picks.
“I’m just excited to be part of the NBA,” Dieng said. “OKC is a young team. They have some French guys over there, so that will be cool.”
Dieng, of Villeneuve-sur-Lot, joins Thunder point guard Theo Maledon, also from Rouen, France.
Dieng spent last season with the New Zealand Breakers in the Australian NBL, the same league OKC guard Josh Giddey competed in before being drafted. The 19-year-old Dieng developed into an impressive offensive threat with the NBL, displaying a high upside of playmaking.
He averaged 8.9 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 23 games.
Dieng measures with a 6-foot-10, 216-pound frame and 7-foot wingspan. He is a long guard, with strong ball handling and defensive skills, but many draft experts predict Dieng to be a raw prospect who hasn’t reached his full potential.
He said he hopes to spent the season improving his decision making and shooting with the Thunder.
“Everything is faster in the NBA,” Dieng said.
Dieng said he worked out with the Thunder before the draft. French is his first language, but Dieng also speaks English. He is looking forward to playing against Kevin Durant in the NBA and said his paycheck will be spent on a new phone.
“I need an American number,” Dieng said.
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Ousmane Dieng at a glance
Born: May 21, 2003
Height/weight: 6-foot-10, 216 pounds
Hometown: Villeneuve-sur-Lot, France
Drafted: First round, No. 11 overall by N.Y. Knicks (proposed trade to OKC Thunder)
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This article originally appeared on Oklahoman: NBA Draft: Knicks select Ousmane Dieng at No. 11, trade to OKC Thunder