The Los Angeles Lakers opened their doors at the UCLA Health Training Center on Monday morning for a pre-draft workouts with six prospects, including Ohio State forward Keita Bates-Diop. He’s projected by multiple mock drafts to go in the 30s.
That would make him a bit of a stretch for the Lakers with their 25th overall pick, and an unlikely option in the second round where they hold the 47th pick. But the Big Ten Player of the Year doesn’t pay any mind to where he might fall.
“I don’t really look at Draft boards,” Bates-Diop said, before revealing stunning news for any 22-year-old. “I don’t have an Instagram or Twitter,” he said. “I know people say a lot of different things on there, so I just like to get away from it. I don’t need it.”
Bate-Diop clarified that he has accounts that exist, they simply just sit dormant. “It was really hard (not using social media),” he added.
The pre-draft workout with the Lakers was the first Bates-Diop has participated in. He is scheduled to be part of the combine in Chicago later this month. “It was amazing,” he said of Monday’s experience.
“My first workout, just to be here at this facility was amazing.”
Continuing with a trend head coach Luke Walton and the Lakers front office have emphasized over the past two seasons, Bates-Diop and the other 2018 Draft prospects were told of the importance of defense.
“There was a real big emphasis on defense. The first words out of their mouth when they brought us together was defense, moving the ball, all that type of stuff,” he said.
Bates-Diop averaged 19.8 points and 8.7 rebounds per game in his senior season with the Buckeyes, while also shooting 35.9 percent from deep. “I can do a lot of things,” he said. “I’m really long so I can guard multiple positions. I always like to think of myself as a versatile player.”
Even while Bates-Diop was playing his way to First team All-Big Ten honors this season, he still managed to keep an eye on the Lakers, being that he is a fan.
“I watched them a lot last year,” Bates-Diop said. “All the hype around the different players that were coming in, it was fun to watch them.”