Forward Keita Bates-Diop will be returning to the San Antonio Spurs for the 2021-22 season, albeit possibly not in a role or signing most expected.
Bates-Diop seemed like a candidate for a two-way contract, which is the contract he was originally signed to by the Spurs back on November 29, 2020.
The Spurs were able to trim their roster to 16 players after waiving Chandler Hutchison just days ago, but according to a tweet from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the former Ohio State product will be back on a new two-year contract.
Forward Keita Bates-Diop is returning to San Antonio on a new two-year contract, sources tell ESPN. He was on a two-way deal with the Spurs last season.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 7, 2021
With Bates-Diop’s signing, the Spurs will be back to 17 players on guaranteed contracts. They will still need to trade or waive two players to get down to the maximum of 15 players by October 18.
Look for an update to our Spurs salary sheet this week for the latest cap numbers later today.
On the latest edition of the Spurscast, before Hutchison was waived, we named the players that were the most likely candidates to be waived before the deadline. We named Hutchison and Al-Farouq Aminu as the most likely players.
Coming up with a third name now that Bates-Diop is signed could prove to be difficult. Also, as we discussed, a trade involving sending multiple players would be made easier with a team that has a trade exception.
After spending time in Minnesota and Denver after the 2018 NBA Draft, Bates-Diop played in 30 games for the silver and black last season. He averaged 2.6 points and 1.6 rebounds in just 8.2 minutes per game. He did show a few flashes, especially towards the end of the season. That hinted he could be back, even if most expected that to be in a two-way role.
With Bates-Diop signing a two-year contract, that does open one more two-way contract for a player. Several players on the Spurs Summer League team could be candidates.