Spent a time in the NBA, point guard Joël Ayayi has signed up for next season with Nanterre. Also called up to the France team as a training partner for the World Cup, Ousmane Dieng had to give up due to injury.
When he announced the list of twelve players selected to compete in the World Cup in Asia this summer, Vincent Collet also revealed a list of five players who will be training partners during the preparation period. Among them, two made the news on Friday. This is first of all the case for Ousmane Dieng, the Oklahoma City player, who had to give up the Blues internship due to an injury.
“It is an honor for me to wear the jersey of the France team. It is true that my back injury did not allow me to join them this time, but I hope to be recalled as soon as possible. The Paris Olympics would be a dream for me”told the 20-year-old winger to the Petit Bleu d’Agen, he who was passing through his hometown, Villeneuve-sur-Lot, in Lot-et-Garonne this Friday. Drafted last year by New York in eleventh position before being sent to OKC, Ousmane Dieng played 39 games in his first season with the Thunder, averaging 4.9 points and 2.7 rebounds in 14.6 minutes. He has just played the Summer League in Las Vegas, where he shone, which could encourage his coach to give him more playing time next season. The French Basketball Federation has not yet communicated the name of the player who will replace him as training partner.
Ayayi renounces, for the moment, the NBA
Another Frenchman who played in the Summer League (with Memphis) was called up by Vincent Collet to train with the Blues, and this is Joel Ayayi. The 23-year-old playmaker is also in the news, since he has signed up for the coming season with Nanterre. The Bordelais gives up, for the moment, to make a career in the NBA, since he has obviously not convinced the Grizzlies to offer him a contract. Not drafted in 2021, he had nevertheless signed a “two way” contract (which allows him to go back and forth between the NBA and the Development League) with the Lakers (without playing) then with Washington.
The former Gonzaga college player played seven games for the Wizards between October and December 2021, but scored just two points overall. He played last season in the G-League, with Magic Lakeland (8.6pts, 5.6rbds and 4.2pds average in 28 minutes and 45 games), but he will therefore cross the Atlantic again to discover the Betclic Elite. “What is remarkable with Joël is his great versatility. He is able to take rebounds, to score but he is also very altruistic. He’s a real Swiss army knife in a team “, rejoiced his new coach, Pascal Donnadieu.