Cleveland Cavaliers 2nd Round Selection Review | Emoni Bates SG

June 23, 2023

Andy Billman

3 things about Emoni Bates SG out of Eastern Michigan:

1 – Middle school rising star

In September 2017, Emoni Bates, a 13-year-old middle schooler made shock waves when he received a scholarship from DePaul University and was tabbed by some as the number one recruit in his class.  Bates would go on to have an excellent High School basketball career winning the 2019-2020 Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year award.  

Bates settled on playing college basketball with Memphis after originally committing to Michigan State. 

2 – College ups and downs 

Bates had some struggles at Memphis, in 18 games he averaged 9.7 points and 3.3 rebounds per game.  He transferred to his hometown Ypsilanti and played at Eastern Michigan, but ran into trouble as he was arrested after a gun was found in a car he was driving.  

Bates pleaded down to a misdemeanor charge of attempted illegal transportation of a weapon, and he did not start in the opener for Eastern because of a coach’s decision.  

Bates did have some big moments while at Eastern Michigan, he went off against Michigan scoring 30, later had 36 against South Carolina, and had 43 points against Toledo.  

Overall, Bates earned Third Team All-MAC honors with 19.2 PPG and 5.8 rebounds per game.

3 – Potential?

When it comes to Bates, it is all about potential.  He at one point was being compared to having Kevin Durant-like qualities in high school and ended up playing for the 8-23 Eastern Michigan squad this past season.  Finding a middle ground in his career is very challenging at times. 

He is listed as a 6’9 shooting guard, but one has to wonder if he can play wing/SF for the Cavs. 

Can the Cavs maximize his talent on the floor?  One scouting report I read laid into Bates saying he played a “losing brand of basketball”, yikes!  Another praised him for playing well during the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago.  Again, hard finding a middle ground on what is really here with Bates. 

Bates is the ultimate example of risk and reward.  The rewards of Bates’s potential are so high and with his size tapping into his talent is worth it.   Bates, however, has shown on multiple occasions lapses of judgment and effort on the floor leading coaches to bench him and scouts to rip him apart.

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