Khalifa Diop: 39th Cavaliers pick will be stashed to Valencia

Donatas Urbonas
Senior Staff Writer
2022-06-24 09:00
Credit: Borja B. Hojas/Getty Images for Hereda San Pablo Burgos
Credit Borja B. Hojas/Getty Images for Hereda San Pablo Burgos

The Cleveland Cavaliers are expected to stash their No. 39 NBA draft pick Khalifa Diop in Valencia, sources say BasketNews.

As BasketNews reported before, Valencia was after a 20-year-old big man for weeks. The initial plan was to sign him as a draft-and-stash player unless the NBA team wished to call him to the league immediately.

But the Cavaliers plan to keep their 2.11 m Senegalese second-rounder to develop in Europe, and the EuroLeague-bound Valencia is ready to use him in the two major European competitions.

Diop is coming off a successful season with Gran Canaria. He was named the 2021-22 EuroCup Rising Star Trophy winner.

Diop averaged 5.7 points on 58.2% two-point shooting, 3.9 rebounds, and one assist.

In the games where he spent more than 15 minutes on the floor, a promising big posted 7.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 12.6 PIR.

Diop also posted 7 points (2FG: 64.1%), 4.3 rebounds, and 0.6 blocks on average in the Spanish league.

He played a couple of his best games of the season against Valencia Basket.

Diop had his EuroCup career-high 18 points in 21 minutes in an overtime win (91-90) on February 1.

He also was 2 points shy of his highest-scoring game in Spain when his 13-point performance boosted Gran Canaria to a victory 89-83 on May 8.

Valencia officially parted ways with bigs Mike Tobey and Louis Labeyrie recently.

Valencia Basket

Position Player Status
PG Martin Hermansson Signed until 2022 +1
PG Nenad Dimitrijevic Signed until 2025
SG Klemen Prepelic (story) Signed until 2023
SG Josep Puerto Signed until 2025
SF Victor Claver Signed until 2024
SF Xabi Lopez-Arostegui Signed until 2025
SF/PF Jaime Pradilla Signed until 2024
PF/C Jasiel Rivero Signed until 2023
C Bojan Dubljevic Signed until 2023+1
Coach Alex Mumbru (story)
Expired contract Mike Tobey (won't comeback), Sam Van Rossom, Louis Labeyrie (won't comeback), Olivier Hanlan (won't comeback)
Rumored to leave  
Interested Will Cummings, Luigi Datome, Chris Jones, Rolands Smits, Khalifa Diop (story), Marius Grigonis

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