This is the wildest inclusion on this list. Emoni Bates was a college bust, a top prospect who flopped at Memphis as an underage freshman and proved himself a low-efficiency chucker at Eastern Michigan before entering the draft and falling into the late Second Round before the Cavaliers drafted him.
The most likely outcome for Bates is that he never makes it off of his two-way contract, that his athletic limitations and on-ball mindset are unconquerable barriers to him finding a place in the NBA. The next set of outcomes all lead to a sharpshooting role player, a Davis Bertans or Steve Novak.
The dream, though? The dream for Cavaliers fans, drunk with their immediate and illogical love for Emoni Bates and his upside, is that he puts it all together. Not as the next coming of Kevin Durant; that ship has sailed. Rather, he becomes a deadeye shooter and leverages his size to be a competent defender on the wing.
A Cavaliers team that is contending for titles as early as next season won’t have cap space to sign a big-name star in free agency, and in five years they still won’t be done paying out the price of the Mitchell trade. Hitting on a second-round prospect like Bates would help to sustain them as contenders. If the 6’10” Bates can consistently shoot over 40 percent as a movement shooter, this Cleveland offense could be unstoppable.