Minnesota Timberwolves: Is Keita Bates-Diop the new stretch four?

CHICAGO, IL - MAY 15: NBA Draft Prospect, Keita Bates-Diop poses for a portrait during the 2018 NBA Combine. Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - MAY 15: NBA Draft Prospect, Keita Bates-Diop poses for a portrait during the 2018 NBA Combine. Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Keita Bates-Diop somehow dropped out of the first round and into the hands of the Minnesota Timberwolves with the 48th overall pick in the second round, and teams made a mistake passing on this young stud.

After defeating the Toronto Raptors on July 8th, 103-92, the Minnesota Timberwolves were looking for blood after a bad first Summer League loss last week. Now sitting at a record of 1-1, the Wolves look to improve with their three-headed monster of Josh Okogie, Amile Jefferson, and Keita Bates-Diop.

To summarize, Kieta Bates-Diop looked incredible on both sides of the ball – finishing with 24 points, 11 rebounds, 2 steals, and 1 block is a fantastic line for a Summer League game, even if you were the first pick in the draft.

Statistics and fluidity aside, the Toronto Raptors heralded OG Anunoby was clamped by Keita Bates-Diop all Sunday afternoon – and no one is talking about this.

KBD finished his game defending OG with a game leading plus/minus of +14, while OG finished the match up with the second worst plus/minus of the game at -9. While plus/minus can sometimes be meaningless, KBD showed the difference in what both of their games can bring to the table and really highlighted what he was potentially able of doing in the future.

What you saw out of KBD was pure ferociousness on both sides of the ball and shooting without fear, as he talks about here getting the jitters out after playing the Raptors.

Although KBD is quick to answer after every question with not much to say, he still shows incredible maturity for a rookie.

The 22-year-old will look to make some big plays this year for the Wolves and even notes he sees himself as more of a stretch-four than than a wing player, which is great for the Timberwolves as Taj Gibson is on the last year of his deal.

Even with the signing of Anthony Tolliver to replace Nemanja Bjelica, playing Amile Jefferson or Keita Bates-Diop makes a lot of sense this year from what we’ve seen out of the exhausted lineups Thibs has throws out on the court.

You can catch everything that KBD did extremely well in this game in the video above, like I’ve said before, he just seems to be everywhere on the court at all times.

Because of Bates-Diop shooting 3-6 from the arc, he was able to give some pump fakes to drive it in easily to the hoop. His post game off of OG looked great because he was able to roll it in, but the fadeaway seems to be a part of his game we didn’t get to see.

In fact, Bates-Diop seems to play a lot like Karl-Anthony Towns on the offensive end, but more athletic on the defensive end. Of course, KAT has been finishing with KBD’s stat line for every game of the regular season for three seasons now, so no justifiable comparison can be made there … yet.

Next: Does KAT have bad work ethic?

It’s easy to see why KBD was the Big 10 Player of the Year, hopefully Head Coach Tom Thibodeau can see that too.

The Timberwolves play tonight against the Brooklyn Nets at 10 PM, don’t miss our amazing prospects turn some heads.