Keita Bates-Diop played 30 games for the Spurs last season on a two-way contract, much of that coming when the team was hit hard by the coronavirus. The counting stats weren’t stunning — 5 points and 2.8 rebounds a game in just under 17 minutes a night — but he played like a solid role player for San Antonio.
Which is why the Spurs are bringing him back to training camp with a potential two-year deal, a story broken by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN and later confirmed by the Spurs themselves.
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
The reality of the situation is Bates-Diop is going to have to earn his way onto the roster.
As of now, the Spurs are heading into training camp with 17 NBA contracts, and they will have to exit camp and head into the season with 15. At least two players will be waived.
One other Spurs signing of note, the team signed second-round pick Joe Wieskamp to a two-way contract for this season. San Antonio picked up the sharpshooter out of Iowa in the second round, and he averaged 10.4 points and 5.6 rebounds a game in the Las Vegas Summer League, but he struggled a little from 3 shooting 30.8%. He’s going to have to prove he can adjust to the NBA game and defend a little, but he’s getting a chance in an organization known for developing second-round picks.
Interestingly, Wieskamp’s job is a little more secure than Bates-Diop — the Spurs will have their two two-way players locked in heading into the season. Wieskamp knows he has his chance, Bates-Diop is going to have to earn his.