The Knicks’ 25th pick Pacome Dadiet has become a forgotten man among the drama of free agency, but his skill set at his size is intriguing.

If you are reading this, you probably watched the first night of the NBA draft and maybe even the second day as well. You assuredly laughed and texted your group chat with Godfather memes of Leon Rose after countless trades of second-round picks for more second-round picks. There is plenty to talk about in the Knicks world right now, whether it is the Mikal Bridges trade or losing out on Isaiah Hartenstein. What people are not talking about is the 25th pick of the 2024 NBA draft, Pacome Dadiet.

Pacome Dadiet was rising up draft boards throughout the pre-draft process but did not quite make it into the mainstream media. This left Knicks fans in a little bit of disarray drafting an unknown French kid over multiple high-profile collegiate prospects (some of which the Knicks got in the second round anyway). There is a reason for Knicks fans to be worried about French prospects for obvious reasons that I am going to try my best not to mention by name.

You can read my background on Pacome Dadiet as well as Mr. Irrelevent, Ariel Hukporti. I could give more opinions on why I think the 18-year-old prospect is worth the risk and why there is potential upside for the young wing. What I want to do, however, is take a deeper look at the tape. The French Wing played for Ratiopharm Ulm in the German BBL and Eurocup along with Spurs second-round pick Juan Nunez. I want to look at some of the specific skills he brings to the table currently as well as what he shows in terms of upside and room for development,

Before we get into the tape, let’s take a look at what the counting stats and advanced metrics say about Pac. As one of the younger players in the German Pro League; Dadiet only played 15 minutes a game. In that time, however, he averaged 6.92 points per game and shot 38% from 4 during the BBL season. His scoring efficiency was in the “very good” range as he had a true shooting percentage of 66.2%. His shooting was streaky throughout the year but the indicators are all extremely positive. 

There are two vastly different lenses that you can use to look at Dadiet as a prospect. If you view him as a development project and want to give him time overseas or in the G-League, you can look at the potential and upside, which we will get into later. However, if you think he can contribute in the near future, you can look at which skills translate immediately.

Shooting:

Shooting is the marquee skill for Mr. Dadiet. That much is clear, the numbers have been inconsistent but the stroke is pure. Over the last eight games of his season, he shot 52.2% from beyond the arc. Now, the volume wasn’t super high but 52% is 52%, the kid can shoot. Over the last three seasons at all levels, Dadiet has shot 78% from the charity stripe on 3.4 attempts per game. Nothing is ever a sure bet, but the form looks picture-perfect with a quick release and a beautiful shot prep. Shooting 35% from three at the Eurocup level as an 18-year-old speaks for itself; there is a polish and refinement to his shooting that is well beyond his years.

Movement Shooting

I believe in the shooting wholeheartedly but it is the movement shooting specifically that I think will translate best to the next level. He is a smart off ball cutter and sees the floor well, along with a quick ready-to-fire release, he can get his shots off in an instant. The readiness to shoot jumps off the screen with his knees bent before he catches the ball every time. The release on his shot is a beautiful thing, and his ability to get it off quickly and above defenders will be a great advantage as he gets older.

Cutting:

Whenever it is that Dadiet joins the Knickerbockers, it is likely that his early role will largely be off-ball. The spacing he provides will be his biggest asset at the NBA level, but his cutting offers another way he can impact the game early in his career.

cutting

Dadiet sees the court well and finds ways to cut into free space effectively. His greatest skill however is his timing. He has a propensity for cutting as soon as the defender looks away or even considers helping, he has a high IQ and uses it to get to the basket off the ball.

More Cuts

If you watch the way he manipulates defenses with a half step in the other direction or looking off the defender as they are helping with the ball handler. The feints and steps he uses to manipulate defenses show a very high basketball IQ. With teammates who can take more attention from the defense, Dadiet should be able to feast with cuts to the basket.

Finishing:

The finishing goes hand in hand with the cutting as that was the majority of his opportunities at the rim. He does not get to the rim much independently but is a good finisher at the rim off cuts. He is not a great athlete but is a good dunker and uses his body well to finish through defenders.

Finishing

He is physical offensively and puts his shoulders down to get to the rim through defenders, oftentimes in transition opportunities. As he continues to grow into his frame, there is potential for a more impactful at-rim finisher. He does not have many moves to create space for himself around the rim but he does have nice touch around the basket.

Transition

He runs the floor well and knows how to fill space well on a fast break. Once he is able to get downhill on a break, he attacks the basket with reckless abandon. Dadiet will not be the best athlete in the NBA, but with his intellect and aggression, he should be a solid transition finisher and rim runner.

Creation:

If you believed in Dadiet as a high-level prospect or even had a first-round grade on him (25th on my big board) it is likely because you believed in the upside. The promise of Pacome is that he will eventually become a three-level scorer with on-ball juice. The flashes that Dadiet shows are extremely high level. He has shown examples of how to create for himself with stepbacks that allow him to shoot over defenders with his high release.

Dadiet’s shooting ability keeps the defense honest as he will shoot if they ever go under screens. He loves to step into open threes given any modicum of space and when put into a ball-handling role, he finds those opportunities frequently. His shooting ability will defend the way that teams defend him, warranting hard closeouts that he can attack and get to the basket. His drives are fairly basic but when he has enough space, he can be dangerous going to the basket.

self-creation

The biggest strength he has shown on the ball is the self-created jumpers. He shot 57% this season on mid-range jumpers and can create ample separation with his step-backs and crossovers.

Stepback

The offensive flashes that he shows are that of an elite wing scorer. Will he get to a point where those are consistently available? I am not sure. However, for the development of Datiet, self-creation ability has to be the number one priority long term. With the quickness and height at which he takes that jumper, it makes him dangerous on the perimeter and in the mid-range.

Playmaking:

Dadiet’s passing still leaves something to be desired but again, he has shown flashes of high-level reads. He has a tendency to telegraph passes or force his passes once he leaves his feet.

Pass

The highlight reel passes are nice but not consistent enough to be trusted in an on-ball role. When he was younger, he had higher usage on his teams but high turnovers. Even this season where he had a smaller role, he still had a negative assist-to-turnover ratio. It is easy to see where there is room to grow but understand that is not something he could be trusted with at this point.

Defense:

You are not going to see many defensive highlights of Pacome Dadiet, which is disappointing given his size and length. His athletic profile projects someone who should be a good defender. However, his awareness, attention, and effort on defense have never shown the level you would hope for.

Defense

Where he does succeed defensively is the use of his length to block shots and interrupt the passing lanes to create turnovers. He loves to get out and run after a steal or off a rebound, you would just like those things to be a little more common.

Overall:

Pacome Dadiet is an interesting combination of ready-to-play and need to development. The shooting should be ready to go, especially with the spacing in the NBA. The cutting off of guys like Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle projects to be high-level. However, that crucial self-creation piece needs more development.

He also needs to work on the little things, the defensive effort and rebounding are vital components of the Knicks culture. If he wants to play on Tom Thibodeau’s team, those things will have to improve.

It remains to be seen if Dadiet will remain in Europe this year, play in Westchester, or see some time in the big leagues. I would hope he gets a chance to play for the main roster to show what he is capable of. At just 18 and playing in one of the best leagues in the world, he may be ready for more than you expect. He showed rapid development throughout the season and was playing his best basketball at the end of the year.

We can only hope he stays on that trajectory and the flashes of skill become more consistent. At the very least; a 6’7 floor spacer is something that every team could use, and the Knicks were desperate for more spacing. Let us hope that Pacome Dadiet is not like other French draft picks but instead is given a chance to grow and develop his game into an impactful rotation player.

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