No. 3: Bates’ offense still has some time to go, and he’s a work in progress
Bates didn’t look that good during his first two Summer League games. In his first game against the Nets, Bates was a net negative on offense. He shot five-of-18 from the field, as well as four-of-13 from beyond the arc. To add insult to injury, Bates had no assists in the game, but Cleveland still won the game by four points.
In Cleveland’s second Summer League game against the Toronto Raptors, Bates played a bit better, but he still wasn’t efficient. He shot five-of-12 from the field, as well as one-of-five from distance.
Now, he did have two assists in the game, which was nice to see, on the plus side, and did move the ball somewhat better. He also added in eight rebounds and a block, which were other positives. His shooting splits weren’t great, but they were fine, especially compared to his first game.
His playmaking is still not great, which is fine. He’ll have time to hone in on his passing down in the G-League, as that’s probably where he’ll spend a lot of his time with his two-way contract this next season. He gets tunnel vision occasionally, which is fine. A lot of rookies have had that problem coming into the league, so this isn’t a new thing.
His free throw shooting has been terrific, too, which has been outstanding. As of now, Bates is a combined five-of-five from the free throw line in the Summer League. He shot 78.2 percent from the free throw line in college, which is solid, and overall, his shot looks better and more natural, regardless of the splits.
All in all, Emoni Bates is a very gifted player, and he should have a fine NBA career. This Vegas Summer League will definitely be a great first stepping stone when it comes to Bates getting better and better in the league, so we’ll just have to see how well he plays against the Bulls, and hopefully in the Summer League Tournament, as well.