Keita Bates-Diop is set to become the first Buckeye in three years to be selected in the NBA Draft come June 21. Where he will be selected though, remains a mystery.
Bates-Diop has been projected as high as a a top-20 pick and as low as an early second rounder in the upcoming draft. His skill set clearly translates to the next level, but it appears a lot will depend on team fit, amongst other variables.
The former Buckeye was invited to the NBA Combine over the weekend and his measurements, though not surprising by any stretch, were impressive.
- Height w/o shoes: 6'7.25"
- Height w/shoes: 6'8.5"
- Weight: 223 lbs
- Body Fat: 5.4%
- Wingspan: 7'3.25"
Bates-Diop was tested as both a guard and a forward, although his skill set clearly translates to that of a small forward in the NBA. Compared to other guards in the draft, Bates-Diop had the longest wingspan, standing reach and height of any perimeter player. If he improves his ball-handling drastically, then these measurables would be much more eye-opening. However, his lack of athleticism and ball-handling all but guarantees he will be a small forward at the next level.
Bates-Diop also showed off his shooting skills at the combine. You can see his shooting percentages from the combine below.
- NBA Break Left 60%
- NBA Break Right 60%
- NBA Corner Left 60%
- NBA Corner Right 80%
- NBA Top Key 20%
- Fifteen (Feet) Break Left 80%
- Fifteen Break Right 100%
- Fifteen Corner Left 40%
- Fifteen Corner Right 80%
- Fifteen Top Key 100%
Bates-Diop put together one of the more consistent shooting performances at the combine, as evident by his stats above. Shooting was never really a question for him, however a good performance in front of NBA scouts can never hurt.
His ability to shoot from the perimeter makes him a weapon, but it is his mid-range game that makes him particularly dangerous, whether he starts with his back to the basket or as a face up player. It is in this area where he excelled the most at the combine, and should help him come draft day.
An area where Bates-Diop has struggled is his overall athleticism. While he is long, he does not bring an explosiveness to the table. His overall numbers in the agility drills at the combine were very much in the middle of the road for his position.
- Lane Agility Time (seconds): 11.20
- Shuttle Run: 3.28
- Three Quarter Sprint: 3.17
- Standing Vertical Leap: 30.5
- Max Vertical Leap: 35.0
Overall, Bates-Diop didn't do much to drastically improve his draft stock but also didn't do anything to hurt himself either. Just like he was at Ohio State, he was consistent and gave everyone what they expected.
In Sports Illustrated's post-combine mock draft, Bates-Diop is projected as the first pick in the second round to the Phoenix Suns (No. 31 overall). NBADraft.net dropped Bates-Diop to No. 37 overall in the second round to the New York Knicks. The LA Times project Bates-Diop to the Brooklyn Nets at No. 29 overall, the second-to-last pick in the first round.
If Bates-Diop were to land in Brooklyn, it would reunite him with his former Ohio State classmate D'Angelo Russell, who was the last Buckeye to be taken in the draft. Russell gave his former Buckeye teammate a ringing endorsement as the combine began, comparing his skill set to one of the best players in the NBA today.
@KBD_33 has a Kawhi Leonard type game. A great system will magnify it.
— D'Angelo Russell (@Dloading) May 18, 2018
No matter where Bates-Diop goes, the team that takes him is going to get a hard-working, long forward that can stretch the floor with his shooting ability, and has solid instincts rebounding the basketball. If Bates-Diop can improve his ball-handing, strength and conditioning, he has the ability to have a long career as a professional either in the NBA or overseas.