Former Ohio State basketball star Keita Bates-Diop heads to the western conference in ESPN’s latest 2018 NBA Draft mock.
There is no doubt that Keita Bates-Diop‘s role is going to change when he enters the NBA. He won’t be that star player like he was at Ohio State with the ball in his hands at the end of the game. In time, Bates-Diop could be but until then he will have to prove it.
As we wait to see where he ends up, the run of projections in the 2018 NBA Draft continues to hold as-is. Outside of an occasional outlier, Bates-Diop has been projected in the 20’s as a late first rounder.
Should he in fact be drafted in that area, Bates-Diop will get the chance to grow into a role on a playoff team. To get the most out of his ability and capitalize on his potential, going to a playoff team would be Bates-Diop’s best bet as he continues to get better.
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The latest mock having Bates-Diop in the 20s was ESPN‘s, which was unveiled on Wednesday. In it, Bates-Diop landed with the Minnesota Timberwolves via the 20th pick.
Now, the fit is good for the former Buckeye. However, with uncertainty as to how the T’Wolves will look like next season, Bates-Diop could be in line for a greater role than anticipated.
Assuming all holds as-is for the most part, Bates-Diop won’t see a ton of minutes as a rookie. With Jimmy Butler and Andrew Wiggins on the wings and being that Tom Thibodeau plays his starters more than the average team, Bates-Diop will need to make the most of his chances.
If Minnesota keeps the Ohio State product, Bates-Diop should play about 12-15 minutes a game as a rookie.
As the seventh or eighth likely player in the rotation guarding opponents’ sixth man should be a strong possibility. In addition, expecting him to put up just 6-8 points and 3 rebounds is about all anyone can ask for.
If Minnesota wants to get better though, Bates-Diop is a solid start but they will need to do more. That is why if he lands in the land of 10,000 lakes, I could envision them moving Bates-Diop and a veteran such as Wiggins or more likely a secondary piece in a draft night deal.
Minnesota is in a position where they are going to need to do something. Whether that involves Bates-Diop or not remains to be seen.
Given that talent on the roster, something is bound to happen to take their play to another level. Until the T’Wolves decide on what they want to do with their roster (and assumed addition of Bates-Diop) only an overview of his impact can be sufficient now.