There was a lot of talk about the Cleveland Cavaliers potentially trading up into the back of the first round or into the early second round. There were a lot of good prospects available in those ranges, but the Cavs did not end up trading up. They stood pat at the 49th overall pick and struck gold.
The Cavs selected uber-talented wing Emoni Bates, a pick that comes with very little risk, but a lot of high reward. Bates was once considered the next great prospect, as he was once a top-five recruit in his class, and drew comparisons to Kevin Durant. Unfortunately, major off-the-court issues tanked Bates’ recruiting positioning, and as a result, his hype train crashed and burned.
Emoni Bates had an up-and-down path to the NBA
He was able to attend the University of Memphis but was less than stellar and he looked out of place in the college game. However, Bates transferred to Eastern Michigan for his sophomore season and he was able to bounce back, averaging 19 points per game. It was not enough for him to leap back into the lottery, but he is still an NBA player nonetheless.
The Cavs should be grateful that they got a player with a lot of potential at a low cost. Here are three reasons why Emoni Bates will shine with the Cavs.