NBA Draft: Local connections, how to watch and what else to know

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Keita Bates-Diop is leaving Ohio State to enter the NBA draft. He explained why during a press conference Monday also attended by his parents and Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The NBA draft is tonight. Coverage begins on ESPN at 7 p.m.

Here are some things to know about the league’s annual talent dispersal event:

1. For the second year in a row, there is a Southwest Ohio connection. 

Last year, it was Luke Kennard. The Franklin High School graduate went to the Detroit Pistons in the first round.

This year it's Vincent Edwards, a former Middletown Middie who just finished up a strong four-year career at Purdue.

Two sites have projected the versatile forward as a second-round pick.

2. Dayton could have a player drafted. 

Kostas Antetokounmpo didn’t do much in a Flyers uniform, but his potential was obvious every time he stepped on the court.

The NBA draft is pretty much all about potential, so he might hear his name called before all is said and done. 

>>RELATED: Kostas Antetokounmpo awaits draft night

No Dayton player has been drafted since Negele Knight in 1990, but four Flyers have made it to the league since 1999.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Dayton Flyers in NBA: Top 10 career scorers

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3. Ohio State likely will have a player drafted. 

After playing a vital role in the Buckeyes’ surprising success in year one under Chris Holtmann, Keita Bates-Diop profiles as a perfect fit in today’s NBA.

An athletic player with long arms who can shoot the 3 and play defense, the reining Big Ten Player of the Year could go in the first round.

The last Ohio State player drafted was D’Angelo Russell, who went No. 2 overall to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2015. He’s since been traded to the Brooklyn Nets.

4. A pair of Cincinnati Bearcats are also in the running. 

Forwards Jacob Evans and Gary Clark are also on the radar of NBA teams.

Sports Illustrated ranks Evans as the No. 36 prospect with Clark at 55, but Sporting News has both higher with Evans at No. 24 and Clark at 43.

CBS Sports ranks Evans 48th and Clark 82nd.

Lance Stephenson is the most-recent Bearcat to be drafted. He went to the Pacers in the second round in 2010.

5. Expect a lot of tall young collegians and one European to be taken early in the draft. 

The consensus seems to be the top prospects are Deandre Ayton of Arizona, Jaren Jackson Jr. of Michigan State and Marvin Bagley III of Duke with Mo Bamba of Texas and Michael Porter Jr. are wildcards with rising stocks.

All of them spent one year in college and are listed at 6-foot-10 or taller, but they have different sorts of games.

Luka Doncic, a 6-6 guard from Slovenia, is also expected to go very early while college freshman point guards Collin Sexton (Alabama) and Trae Young (Oklahoma) are also intriguing prospects.

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