The best and worst-case scenarios for Cavs’ Emoni Bates draft selection

Emoni Bates, Eastern Michigan Eagles. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Emoni Bates, Eastern Michigan Eagles. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /
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On Thursday night, the Cleveland Cavaliers went with an upside swing with their selection of Emoni Bates at No. 49 overall in the second round of the 2023 NBA Draft.

That was Cleveland’s only selection of the night, and despite Cleveland rumored to be among teams that were considering moving up into the late first round via trade, the Cavaliers did not ultimately do so.

For the Cavaliers, Thursday’s draft was not likely to be one nearly as noteworthy as others in the recent past. This Cavaliers team has to improve on the margins, but they seemingly do have their core pieces in place, so this latest draft was probably not going to be one where’d they land another cornerstone guy, necessarily.

Even with that being the expectation, there are still value picks teams in Cleveland’s position have to find ways to hit on, and for the Cavaliers, they did take something of a swing with their Bates selection.

He is not a player who seems projected to be a contributor early on next season, which is not so rare for rookies in general, and especially not second-rounders, let alone near that pick.

Bates had tons of hype surrounding him heading into college, first at Memphis, but had a difficult first collegiate season there, prior to transferring to Eastern Michigan for his sophomore campaign. He did have a considerable production uptick as a sophomore, on the plus side, and despite some noticeable concerns, he is still a player who could make a big impact if he can put things together.

So with all of that said, what would be the best and worst-case scenarios for this Cavs’ Bates pick?

Beginning with the best-case, that’d pertain to Bates demonstrating how he’s a high-level shot creator.