With the Omicron variant sweeping through the NBA, it seems every team needs reinforcements. That’s why the league has provided teams with a hardship, allowing them to add an additional player to offset each who tests positive for the virus. This has resulted in a who’s who of, “Wow, I remember that guy!” signings:
- The Boston Celtics signed Joe Johnson out of semi-retirement… 20 years after drafting him.
- Lance Stephenson is back in the league with the Atlanta Hawks.
- The Dallas Mavericks just signed a dude named Charlie Brown. Seriously.
The Detroit Pistons, one of the league’s fully vaccinated teams, appear to have experienced their first COVID incident of the season as Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that Detroit will sign Cheick Diallo to a 10-day contract.
With the Pistons’ roster at the 15, the only way they can add a player without freeing up a spot is by virtue of the hardship. It’s worth noting that Nerlens Noel of the New York Knicks entered COVID protocols after playing 23 minutes against the Pistons last night.
Diallo, no relation to Hamidou Diallo, has been playing for the Motor City Cruise this season and the fourth year big from Kansas has been productive, averaging 14.2 points and 8.5 rebounds per game on preposterous 71% shooting:
He was quite a project coming out of college and still isn’t a very well-rounded player, but Diallo really does play his ass off. His combination of size — 6-foot-9 with a 7-foot-5 wingspan — and athleticism with that non-stop motor will be a welcome addition for a frontcourt desperate for athleticism.
This, unfortunately, comes in the wake of Cade Cunningham entering COVID protocols. You can read more about that development here.