Not much of a story here, unless you are in a deep 16-team league, but ESPN’s Marc Stein is reporting that Ike Diogu and the New Orleans Hornets are close to an agreement that would make Diogu a Hornet in 2009-10.
Diogu is a four-year veteran, drafted 9th-overall in the 2005 NBA Draft, and as Stein points out Ike did start to show some of that lottery potential last season in his brief stint with the Kings: 10 G, 14.2 MPG, 60.0 FG%, 75.8 FT%, 9.2 PTS, 3.9 REB, 0.1 BLK.
All indications here are that the Hornets are just looking to add some bulk (250 lbs) and size (6-8) to their bench. After making the move for Emeka Okafor, the Hornets are now five-deep in the low-post. Obviously Okafor and All-Star David West are going to start alongside Peja Stojakovic. The wild-cards here are the other two young bigs on the Hornets roster: Julian Wright and Hilton Armstrong. Wright has the potential to be a force out on the wing, while Armstrong is a leaner big with a lot of length and athletic ability. Diogu, on the other hand, can really clear up space in the post, unlike Wright and Armstrong.
The key here is really who stays healthy (NOH has had their share of injuries over the past few seasons in the post) and how quickly the three young bigs can develop as a low-post presence. Right now Diogu is most likely fifth on the PF/C depth-chart, but it is worth following to see if he can emerge and turn into a fantasy flier at some point during the season. Right now, though, he should go undrafted in 12-team standard leagues.