Spurs Prospect Watch: Keita Bates-Diop

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The Spurs are still on pace for a 50-plus win season and that likely means a postseason berth. With that comes a fairly low pick in the 2018 NBA Draft as well. To get you prepared we have this week’s prospect watch all ready to go.

Ohio State’s Keita Bates-Diop has been making a case all season for why he should be the Big Ten’s Player of the Year and it hasn’t slowed down at all. He’s played himself into the first round as of now. The 6-foot-7, 235-pound redshirt junior had a lot to prove after his season was ended early last year and he only appeared in nine games.

Here are some of his stats:

  • 20.2 PPG, 8.9 RPG, 1.7 BPG
  • 51.0 FG%, 36.7 3P%
  • 121.2 ORtg, 90.9 DRtg
    • Per-40 stats:
      • 25.3 PPG, 11.1 RPG, 2.1 BPG

As you can see, Bates-Diop can do just about everything and he does for the Buckeyes. He’s their leading scorer and rebounder on the team. He’s a prototypical 3 and D kind of player that the Spurs love having on the roster. He can defend on the perimeter and has stayed solid on that end in conference play when the Buckeyes have had to play the likes of Michigan State, Minnesota and Maryland among others so far on the slate.

The junior can shoot at all three levels on the floor and is alright doing so off the dribble. He’s got the length and size to play out on the wing but will need to put on some weight at the next level in order to defend more positions. He’s clearly a good rebounder at his position, which is key for a Spurs team that does not rely heavily or exclusively on its big men to grab boards.

Bates-Diop can be a streaky shooter at times and can get caught up in trying to score too much. That’s resulted in a near-30 percent usage rate, which is a bit high for someone in a Power Five conference not named Trae Young. However, he’s been fairly efficient in those possessions so we can’t fault him too much for that with his effective field goal rate — which adjusts for three-pointers being worth more —- of 57.4 percent.

While Bates-Diop may have some warts defensively or even athletically a bit, he would be a great first rounder to get late. He’s played himself into the position and looks deserving of the pick as of now.

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