Keita Bates-Diop’s slide on draft night was a surprise to many Ohio State fans waiting to see where he would start his NBA career. As it turns out, the same feeling permeated throughout his peers.
In a survey unveiled today by NBA.com of 36 rookies who took part at the annual “Rookie Photo Shoot” at the New York Knicks’ practice facility, last year’s Big Ten player of the year was voted as the biggest steal at where he was selected in the draft.
Taken at No. 48 overall by Minnesota, Bates-Diop received 13 percent of the vote to win the title given last year to Donovan Mitchell.
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“This question got the biggest variety of answers, and we'll see if Bates-Diop gets a chance to crack Tom Thibodeau's typically-short rotation in Minnesota,” the website wrote. “Last year's rookies certainly got this one right.”
It is the only category in which Bates-Diop appears. Coming off a redshirt injury season, Bates-Diop blossomed with a breakout season. He sat down with me during the year to discuss his journey, and you can read that feature by clicking here.
Rookies were also asked to vote for rookie of the year, which rookie will have the best career, most athletic, best shooter, best defender and best playmaker. You can read all of the results here.