That’s right: entering just his third NBA season, Hamidou Diallo is the longest-tenured member of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
During the shortened offseason, the Thunder moved several pieces as they appear to be bottoming out the franchise and looking to start from scratch. As a result, players such as Steven Adams, Terrance Ferguson, Andre Roberson, Dennis Schröder, and Nerlens Noel were either traded or not re-signed over the last few months. Chris Paul was traded to Phoenix where he’ll team up with Devin Booker. So Diallo, who is 22 years old and has just six career starts through two seasons as a pro, is now the veteran in the OKC locker room.
— Rylan Stiles (@Rylan_Stiles) December 2, 2020
“It’s definitely crazy but it’s definitely an opportunity,” Diallo recently told the media, per OKCThunderWire. “It’s great to be that person, especially knowing what this program brings and knowing what this city’s about.”
Diallo isn’t completely alone, though. Former Kentucky Wildcat Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has been with OKC since the start of last year while Darius Bazley and Mike Muscala also provide some familiarity from the 2019-20 season. Another one-time Wildcat, Darius Miller, was recently traded to the Thunder, giving OKC three Kentucky alums.