Basketball: Former NZ Breakers 'Next Star' Ousmane Dieng picked by Oklahoma City Thunder in NBA draft-day trade

  • 24/06/2022

Former NZ Breakers 'Next Star' Ousmane Dieng is on his way to the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder.

At Friday's NBA Draft in New York City, Dieng was selected at No. 11 by New York Knicks, before being immediately traded to the Thunder for a package of future first-round picks.

Breakers teammate and compatriot Hugo Besson was also snapped up, taken by Milwaukee Bucks with the very last pick of the second round.

The Breakers have now become the first international club to have sent two players to the NBA in the same draft.

The Frenchmen follow in the footsteps of former Breakers guard RJ Hampton, who was drafted by Orlando Magic at the 2020 draft.

The 19-year-old Dieng posted per game averages of 8.9 points and 3.2 rebounds in his 23 games for the struggling Breakers in last season's Australian NBL.

He joins Gonzaga phenom Chet Holmgren, who was picked at No.2 by the Thunder, as well as ex-NBL Australian Josh Giddey, who had a superb rookie year with the franchise.

Hampton's Orlando Magic selected Duke forward Paolo Banchero with the first overall pick of the draft.

Banchero averaged 17.2 points and 7.8 rebounds per game as a freshman last season for Duke. He also contributed defensively with 41 steals and 36 blocked shots.

This was the fourth time the Magic selected first overall in the NBA Draft. Orlando drafted Shaquille O'Neal in 1992, Chris Webber (traded to the Golden State Warriors) in 1993 and Dwight Howard in 2004.

The Magic went 22-60 last season, the second-worst record in the NBA. 

Houston Rockets selected Auburn sharpshooter Jabar Smith Jr at No.3.