Keita Bates-Diop NBA Draft Profile

Keita Bates-Diop
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Keita Bates-Diop – 6’7″, Small Forward, Ohio State University, 22 years old

After 4 years in Ohio State University playing for the Buckeyes — including one medical redshirt season — Keita Bates-Diop is looking to enter the next level of basketball and further his career in the NBA.  He began his college career as a bench player, only getting 9 minutes a game. Over the next few years, however, he would see his role within the team expand and become more and more crucial. He kept improving his game and his performance, and despite coming off a junior year greatly shortened by a stress fracture on his left leg, he would keep up this trend till senior year. In his final season with the Buckeyes, he put up excellent numbers of 20 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks, and 1 steal in 32.9 minutes of action every night. He also shot at an excellent rate of 48% from the field, 36% from deep, and 80% from the foul line. Unsurprisingly, he was named Big Ten Player of the Year for 2018, and was a part of the All-Big Ten First Team. He was also a consensus second-team All-American for his performance as a senior.


Keita Bates-Diop showed in his four years at Ohio State, that he is at the very least, a respectable shooter. He has a pretty decent stroke, and as shown by his numbers, can shoot from all over the floor. He is excellent when taking shots around the basket and in mid-range, and can easily take advantage when matched up with smaller defenders in the paint.

For a 6’7″ small forward, Keita Bates-Diop also rebounds quite well, even better than a lot of other larger and taller big men at his level. He averaged a little below 9 rebounds a game in his final season of college. This can perhaps be attributed to his 7’2″ wingspan, which allows him to contest for boards, both offensive and defensive ones. He also displays good box-out fundamentals, allowing him to out-rebound more athletic players.

He was also able to utilize this length to be a defensive threat to opposing players. Combined with excellent timing, Bates-Diop was a defensive playmaker for Ohio State. He would block almost 2 shots when in action, quite impressive for a small forward.


Not everything is great about Keita Bates-Diop. He has several flaws in his game that may be seen as “red flags” to interested teams. His seemingly impressive shooting clip may be due to constant mismatches that the Ohio State offense produced. In many of his mid-range and around-the-basket shots, he was guarded by smaller defenders, and while that was good on his part to take advantage of in the college level, he should expect to not be in those kinds of situations frequently in the NBA. Thus, his shooting may drop significantly when matched up with taller, stronger, and more skilled opponents.

Also related to his shooting, is his average-at-best shooting clip on jump shots, at just 36%. For a wing like he is, and someone that has been said to have the potential to become a stretch-four, he will have to shoot the ball better in the NBA to be able to space the floor effectively and be a legitimate threat on offense.

Finally, Keita Bates-Diop is lacking in the “explosiveness”  department. An attribute that is required for an NBA-caliber player to create shots off the dribble, or to attack the rim and push through opposing defenders when doing so. As said before, he cannot and should not rely on mismatches that were often given to him in college, and he should develop this aspect of his offensive game further if he truly wishes to not depend on his inconsistent jump shots to have an impact on the offensive end of the floor.

NBA Potential and Player Comparison

Keita Bates-Diop can fit into the modern NBA as either a stretch-four, a 3&D type of player, or a hybrid of both. Given his wingspan and skill-set he has a very high floor and should be able to transition rather quickly. If he exerts more effort on improving and developing his game, he can quickly become an effective defender and a real asset for a team. If he also finds a way to be a more consistent shooter on the floor, to have a more fearsome three-point shot, jumper, and shooting stroke in general, then he will be the type of two-way player that teams long for in this age of the NBA.

He may never reach the level of Kawhi Leonard of the Spurs, or even of the Rockets’ Trevor Ariza, but if he does indeed become a legitimate “3&D” player on the court, he can easily reach the level of players like Marvin Williams, Kelly Oubre, or Robert Covington, all of whom have been pegged as 3&Ds within their teams.

Keita is on the older side of his draft class, and thus he has less time than some of his fellow 2018 entrants to improve his game, both offensively and defensively. But he indeed should not be doubted, as he has all the tools and characteristics needed to maximize his potential beyond what he is today.

Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images