Report: Ohio State’s Keita Bates-Diop declaring for NBA draft

AP Photo/Paul Vernon
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A few years ago, Keita Bates-Diop – 6-foot-7 with a 7-foot-4 wingspan – would have been labeled a tweener.

In the modern NBA, he’s versatile.

So, projected as a mid-to-late first-round pick, Diop is turning pro.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Ohio State forward Keita Bates-Diop will pass on his final year of college eligibility and enter the NBA draft in June, sources told ESPN.

Wojnarowski doesn’t outright say Diop will hire an agent, which would render him ineligible for college basketball, but it sure sounds like it.

The big knock on Diop: He’s already 22 after spending four seasons with the Buckeyes. (He received a medical redshirt last season.) Maybe he made actual strides that will translate to the NBA, but it seems more likely he just outgrew his competition.

Diop has a nice all-around game, though no real signature skills. He broke out this season as he got more aggressive, and he can score inside and out. But he’s not a good enough ball-handler to warrant nearly as big a role in the NBA, which opens questions about his effectiveness in a smaller role. He’s merely a fine, unspectacular shooter.

Diop has the size to defend multiple positions. Is he good enough to hang his hat on that end of the floor, though?