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.
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.
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.