Bates-Diop joins Timberwolves after hot start in G League

With an established star and several young talents to build around, the Minnesota Timberwolves are attempting to establish themselves as a playoff contender once again.

From established players like Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins to newcomers like Josh Okogie and Jarrett Culver, we’re taking a weekly look at the present, and future, of the Wolves.

Each Thursday we’ll also track the progress of the Iowa Wolves standouts who might be of help to the Wolves in the future, or a current member of Minnesota’s roster.

This is the second edition of the 2019-20 Young Wolves Tracker.

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Spotlight on …

Forward Keita Bates-Diop

After two strong games in the G League, Bates-Diop is already rejoining the Timberwolves.

Minnesota recalled the second-year forward from the Iowa Wolves on Thursday, a day after their G League affiliate picked up its first win of the season.

The 23-year-old been one of Iowa’s most effective sharpshooters so far. A second-round pick out of Ohio State in 2018, Bates-Diop is shooting 53.6% from the field and 61.5% from 3-point range after posting another impressive stat line Wednesday.

He scored 23 points to help the Wolves to a 122-116 win over the Salt Lake City Stars, going 7-for-12 from the field and 4-for-6 from 3-point range with two rebounds and two assists. He went 8-for-16 from the field and 4-for-7 from deep in the season opener, posting 22 points and seven rebounds. Bates-Diop has yet to commit a turnover this season.

Those numbers could make Bates-Diop, who made just two appearances during the preseason, a solid contender for some run with the big club.

Minnesota is averaging 39.7 3-point tries per contest through 11 games this season, fifth in the NBA. However, they’re shooting just 30.9%, ahead of only the Atlanta Hawks and Orlando Magic.

Bates-Diop made 30 appearances for the Wolves as a rookie, averaging just 5.0 points and 2.8 rebounds in 17 minutes per game and shooting 42.3% from the field.


— Andrew Wiggins’ resurgence continues to look very real. He went off again in the Timberwolves’ win over the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday, scoring 30 points on 12-of-23 shooting with four 3s, adding eight rebounds, seven assists, two steals and a block.

— Josh Okogie scored a season-high 17 points with eight rebounds, four assists and no turnovers during the Timberwolves’ loss to Denver on Sunday. He’s been pretty quiet since, scoring a combined eight points on 1-of-12 shooting in wins over Detroit and San Antonio.

— Karl-Anthony Towns has cooled off a bit after his red-hot start. He’s averaging 24.6 points on 44% shooting with 12.4 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.4 blocks in five game since his suspension.

— Point guard Jordan McLaughlin went off for 34 points on 64.7% shooting during Iowa’s win over Salt Lake City, adding six rebounds, six assists and three steals after appearing in four games for the Timberwolves.