Former Virginia forward Mamadi Diakite will join the Milwaukee Bucks after signing a two-way contract with the team Saturday night. With the deal being a two-way contract, Diakite will split time between the Bucks and their NBA G-League affiliate team, the Wisconsin Herd.
The forward went undrafted Wednesday during the 2020 NBA Draft. Though he was expected to be selected near the middle or end of the second round, Diakite — along with several other well-known prospects such former Kansas guard Devon Dotson and former Gonzaga forward Killian Tillie — was not drafted with any of the 60 picks.
Despite this, Diakite will become the fourth Cavalier to join the NBA in the last two years after former teammates Kyle Guy, Ty Jerome and De’Andre Hunter were drafted in 2019. Similar to Diakite, Guy also signed a two-way contract back in July 2019 and has since split time between the Sacramento Kings and their G-League affiliate, the Stockton Kings.
Standing at 6 feet 9 inches and boasting a 7-foot-3 wingspan, Diakite’s size has allowed him to develop into a stellar rim protector and shot blocker. Additionally, Diakite proved to have a nice finishing ability around the rim on the offensive end.
Hailing from Conakry, Guinea, Diakite started all 30 games for the Cavaliers last season and averaged career highs in points and rebounds with 13.7 and 6.8, respectively. Diakite was also named to the All-ACC second team and was a semifinalist for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year award.
Though he was mainly known for his ability to block shots and his on-ball defense, Diakite demonstrated his offensive skills in several games last season. Diakite notched his first career double-double with 19 points and 13 rebounds against James Madison and posted a career-high 21 points against South Carolina.
Ditakite was an integral member of Virginia’s championship-winning squad in 2018-19 and was key in making the Cavalier defense as hellacious as it was in 2019-20.
The Bucks proved to be a dominant team during the 2019-20 regular season as they finished with a 56-17 record that earned them the top seed in the Eastern Conference. It will be interesting to see if Diakite will be brought up to play for the Bucks frequently this upcoming season or if he will spend most of the year playing for the Herd.