Prospect Preview: Keita Bates-Diop
KEITA BATES-DIOP, F, OHIO STATE
Wt: 223 pounds
2017-18 Stats: 19.8 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 1.6 apg
HOW HE OPERATES
If you were making a list of the best scorers in the draft, Keita Bates-Diop might just be at the top of the list. The Big Ten’s Player of the Year is one of the smoothest scorers in the draft, and, like any big-time player, can put the ball in the basket in a variety of ways.
Bates-Diop rebounded from a stress fracture in his left leg that cut his junior season to just nine games. And he rebounded in a big way, averaging 10 more points per game during his senior season, not shying away from contact to live at the free throw line, and generally looking healthy. Bates-Diop will be fine playing small forward or power forward as a ‘stretch 4’ that should cause opposing defenses plenty headaches.
He is a pick-and-pop player in screen/roll situations, and looks to hit the 3-point shot, first and foremost. He’s got a strong left-handed dribble in getting to the basket when he sees the opportunity. A long, rangy athlete with a ridiculous 7-3 wingspan, Bates-Diop runs the court well and can get to the rim whenever he wants. Once he gets there, he is a decent finisher; not yet great through traffic. Still, Bates can help a team right now as a 3-point shooter. He’ll get to his spots and knock down midrange shots as well.
Defensively, Bates-Diop projects to be solid. His length makes him extremely tough to hit jump shots over. He does not have the quickest feet or lateral movement, but can make up for getting beat off the dribble with his length to block shots. Bates-Diop averaged 1.6 blocks per game. Gives an effort on that end of the court.
HIS BEST FIT
Bates-Diop is an ideal fit for teams in search of point production and shooting. In the right situation, he can become a big-time scorer and the matchup problem so many teams are looking for in this NBA. He isn’t the kind of player that needs a ball-handler to make a play to get him open – Bates-Diop can go and get his own shots.
Christopher Dempsey: email@example.com and @chrisadempsey on Twitter.