Realistic: Smaller Michael Porter Jr., Denver Nuggets
The biggest similarity between Michael Porter Jr. and Emoni Bates is their unwavering confidence every time they possess the ball. Consequently, both players convert incredibly difficult baskets that make coaches across the country cringe. Throughout the playoff run, Porter Jr. showcased his ability to hit remarkably tough shots, often rising above his defenders whenever he had the ball.
Defensively, Porter Jr. doesn’t stand out despite his impressive size. During the Finals, his shooting slump made him less effective on the court due to his defensive shortcomings. Bates, lacking the same size as Porter Jr., will face an even greater challenge to make an impact during his own cold streaks.
If Bates can enhance his strength and refine his shot selection, I believe he has the potential to fit into a contender’s rotation in a manner similar to Michael Porter Jr.’s role with the Denver Nuggets this year. The undeniable impressiveness of their shot-making abilities and the presence they bring to the game can relieve pressure from the team’s stars.
Considering Bates was selected significantly lower than Porter Jr. if he can reach the level of performance Porter Jr. displayed last year, this pick will be a resounding success for Koby Altman and the Cavs.