With the 49th overall pick, the Cleveland Cavaliers select Emoni Bates from Eastern Michigan. After Thursday’s draft, the former high school basketball phenom will be heading to Cleveland. Undoubtedly one of the toughest shot-makers in the entire draft, Bates’ ceiling is up with the lottery picks.
During his time in Ypsilanti, Emoni Bates showcased his ability to make tough jump shots from any range. Step-back threes, contested pull-ups, catch-and-shoot threes—you name it, and Bates was hitting them. His incredible scoring ability was evident when he scored 29 consecutive points at the Division One level.
At just 19 years old, Bates still has some room for improvement to become a complete NBA player. He stands at a good height of around 6’9″, but he possesses a wiry frame and lacks athleticism. These physical limitations are evident in his finishing around the rim, where he struggles to elevate above and through defenders. Defensively, he needs to add more strength to find his ideal defensive position and isn’t quite quick enough to stay in front of NBA guards.
Emoni Bates’ crazy potential upside
At the 49th overall pick, it’s rare to find someone with as much upside as Bates. The organization and fanbase will need to exercise patience and allow him to develop. With some time in the G-League to establish his role within an offense, Bates has the potential to become a dynamic scoring threat off the bench. Due to his unique abilities, his career trajectory is quite unpredictable, and the sky is truly the limit for him. Here are four player comparisons for Emoni Bates, ranging from low-end to pipe dream.