2 takeaways from Cavaliers’ Summer League W against Grizzlies

Sam Merrill, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by David Richard-USA TODAY Sports)
Sam Merrill, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by David Richard-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Cleveland Cavaliers
Emoni Bates, Eastern Michigan Eagles. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

Key Takeaway No. 1: Emoni Bates deserved to go higher than No. 49

This take might be a bit too soon. Despite that, Emoni Bates showed his potential throughout this whole game, making difficult shots, and practically scoring at will. His offensive versatility was on full display in this game, as he had 21 points.

Another thing to mention is Bates had two steals. He was really disruptive in passing lanes. He still isn’t an otherworldly defender, but he should improve on that end in time. As a player who has a negative wingspan, being able to accumulate steals is really important.

I was really high on Emoni Bates when he was coming into the 2023 NBA Draft, I’ll admit it. Bates could’ve been the perfect selection with their second round pick that was 49th overall. As of now, some of his play has been encouraging in Summer League, and his basketball game is oozing with potential.

Bates also had great efficiency against Memphis, which was a pleasant sign. He was shooting 33 percent from the field going into the game on Monday, which wasn’t great. Still, it seems that he’s starting to get more comfortable, as he shot seven-of-11 from the field, as well as five-of-eight from distance.

Bates’ jump shot is smooth, and has a good release point. Some NBA prospects come into the league having their jump shot out of sorts. Conversely, though, Bates doesn’t have to worry as much about his jump shooting, as he should mainly worry about defense and playmaking.

If he can become a better defender and better passer, he can get his name on the All-Star ballot multiple times.