The Washington Wizards held another pre-draft workout on Thursday, hosting six more players that could find their way onto the roster come draft night.
Of the six players, Keita Bates-Diop is the highest-ranked prospect. The Ohio State veteran has seen a fluctuation in draft stock, projecting as high as the middle of the first round and as low as early second round. The other player often projected in mocks is UNLV freshman Brandon McCoy. He projects as a second-round selection.
Here are some notes on each player, as they were the two who met with the media post-workout.
Keita Bates-Diop, F, Ohio State (6-7, 235)
Bates-Diop is known for his versatility and length. At 6-7, he projects more as a small forward in the NBA, but managed to grab 8.7 rebounds per game in his redshirt-junior season at Ohio State. He was named Big Ten Player of the Year before declaring for the draft.
“Definitely my length, I have an extremely long wingspan,” Bates-Diop said. “It helps me grab balls I normally wouldn’t get, or most guys wouldn’t get.”
Bates-Diop posted a 7-3.25 wingspan at the NBA combine, 10th highest among all participants. His length helped him block shots at Ohio State, where he averaged 1.6 blocks per game.
During the pre-draft workout, Bates-Diop was often tasked with defending the guards, he said.
Along with his length, Bates-Diop has developed a three-point shot over the years, most recently making two threes per game at a 35.9 percent clip.
After the pre-draft workout, the Wizards pulled Bates-Diop aside for an extra, individual shooting drill. It was the first time he’s done an extra shooting drill after a pre-draft workout, he said.
Bates-Diop said he wants to prove to teams that “I can shoot the ball better than the percent I shot in college.”
Bates-Diop said up next is a workout with the Atlanta Hawks, who pick No. 19, No. 30 and No. 34 overall.
Brandon McCoy, PF/C, UNLV (7-0, 250)
McCoy was the youngest player at the pre-draft workout on Thursday but made his talent known his first year at UNLV. The 7-foot big man scored 16.9 points and grabbed 10.3 rebounds per game, just one of four freshmen to average a double-double this past season.
The other three? DeAndre Ayton, Marvin Bagley III and Mo Bamba.
But McCoy projects in the second round of the draft. Still, he felt like signing with an agent and leaving after a year was the right move.
“My thought is the more you stay in college, the more you become a college player and we all have aspirations of playing in the NBA,” McCoy said. “And I feel like I did enough in college and it was time to take that next step and become a pro.”
The Wizards told McCoy after the workout that he has a lot of upside and to keep working, he said. The potential is there — McCoy was named Mountain West Freshman of the Year and in addition to his double-double line, he finished with 1.8 blocks per game.
But, McCoy, who just turned 20 less than a week ago, knows he still has a lot to learn.
“You have guys like LeBron James, the best player in the world, still putting things to his game and stuff,” McCoy said. “Imagine a guy like me from the bottom, I got to learn a lot.”
McCoy will head to Dallas next and says he has four more workouts before the draft. The Mavericks have two second round picks, No. 33 and No. 54 overall.
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