Keita Bates-Diop will enter the 2018 NBA Draft, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The ESPN report did not state if Bates-Diop had hired an agent, but it said Bates-Diop will “pass on his final year of college eligibility.”
Bates-Diop reportedly will have a press conference Monday to officially announce his decision.
Sources on ESPN: Ohio State junior forward Kieta Bates-Diop — Big 10 Conference player of the year — will enter the June NBA Draft. https://t.co/fLgntz9eDH
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 26, 2018
Bates-Diop was named the 2017-18 Big Ten Player of the Year during a breakout season. The 6-foot-7 wing averaged 19.8 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game, leading the Buckeyes to a 15-3 mark in the Big Ten and the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Bates-Diop is a potential first-round pick who could improve his draft position with a strong showing at the combine in May.
Bates-Diop, who missed most of the 2016-17 season with a leg injury, was a fourth-year junior in 2017-18. After Ohio State’s season-ending loss to Gonzaga in the NCAA Tournament, he called his decision to return to the Buckeyes or not one of the hardest he’s ever faced.
“It might be the hardest decision I’ll ever make,” Bates-Diop said. “I love this group of guys. This has been my best year by far – not just statistically but group of guys-wise. It’s the wins, it’s how we got the wins.”