Bates-Diop is seen as a 3-and-D player who can come in and immediately make an impact on an NBA roster. The small forward can defend well in the post. Standing at 6-foot-7, Bates-Diop offers a bunch of upside given his skill set.
Let’s take a look at where Bates-Diop would be a good fit.
The Stanley Johnson experiment has been a complete failure for the Pistons. The former lottery pick has regressed in three seasons with the team and it is now time for the Pistons to find help at the small forward position.
Although the Pistons will be picking too high for them to consider Bates-Diop in the first-round he could possibly fall to them in the second-round.
Trevor Ariza turns 33 this June and is an unrestricted free agent, so his status with the Rockets is definitely up in the air.
Even if Ariza returns, the Rockets need help at the small forward position and Bates-Diop will most likely be around where they pick in the draft. Bates-Diop would fit into that offense nicely because he can score from anywhere on the floor and is a solid wing defender.
New Orleans Pelicans
The Pelicans need more firepower if they intend on taking the next step. Bates-Diop is an excellent shooter who could provide matchup problems for other teams. Although E’Twaun Moore had a career year this past season, the Pelicans are at the stage where they need to take the best player available in order to help Anthony Davis. Bates-Diop will definitely be one of the top players on the board when the Pelicans pick, so he should be considered.
San Antonio Spurs
It seems it is almost inevitable that the Spurs will lose their star small forward in the offseason. Kawhi Leonard will be tough to replace if that happens, but Bates-Diop is a player who the Spurs could target in the draft.
The Spurs love having 3-and-D players on their roster and Bates-Diop would be a great value pick for the Spurs near the end of the first round.
Unless Lebron James leaves the Eastern Conference, the Raptors will need to find someone who can defend him. Their 2017 first-round pick, OG Anunoby Jr., was absolutely exposed by James in Eastern Conference semi-finals this year.
Bates-Diop, who is a much better defender than Anunoby, could be that solution for the Raptors. Toronto is a small forward away from having a complete roster.
Worst case scenario, Bates-Diop and Anunoby would make for a solid young rotation at the small forward position.