Emoni Bates was arguably one of the most underrated recruits out of the 2023 NBA Draft class. While he sets the tone for his professional debut, the Cleveland Cavaliers have become the hottest team in the league. The NBA Summer League kicked off earlier this month with teams battling it out for the title. This tournament happens to be one of the most exciting parts of a season but things got even more interesting over the last few weeks.
Bates will potentially be the Cavaliers’ biggest addition to the roster since the early 2010s. Even though he stands at 6″10 feet and weighs 190 lbs, the former Eastern Michigan star is very versatile. He is comparable to a young Anthony Davis as well. Bates averaged 19.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game. He shot 48.2% from deep, 40.5% from the field, and 71.4% from the foul line.
During his sophomore year in college, he was a major threat offensively. Emoni Bates had a small rift with the law after he was booked for carrying a concealed firearm. The charges were eventually dropped but it still raised concerns as the NBA Draft approached quickly. Bates was previously a five-star prospect out of high school but his stats plummeted during freshmen year. However, he quickly recovered from the setback and made an outstanding run.
Emoni Bates and the Cleveland Cavaliers secure an impressive title victory against the Houston Rockets
Emoni Bates was hoping to get a higher slot than being selected 49th overall by the Cavaliers this year. He made his NBA debut during the Las Vegas Summer League and showed promising results with his performances. Bates averaged 18.1 points and 5.5 rebounds per game which earned him All-Summer League second-team honors.
Bates surpassed a lot of expectations coming into the Summer League and chances are that he may land a sizable deal in the future.
Cleveland on the other hand outclassed their opponents throughout the tournament. Players such as Isaiah Mobley, Sam Merrill, and Bates himself, were dominating all sides of the floor. The Cavaliers were paired against the undefeated Houston Rockets led by tournament MVP Cam Whitmore.
Both teams went undefeated until the championship round. The Cavaliers had an easy victory over the Rockets and Bates tweeted LeBron James’ iconic “Cleveland This Is for You!” catchphrase.
Emoni Bates pulled a Bron after winning the summer league title with Cleveland 😅🏆 pic.twitter.com/zyE9SRLAow
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 18, 2023
Bates finished the game with 19 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists shooting 46% from the field. Mobley and Merrill were the biggest standouts of the game. Mobley with a game-high 28 points along with 11 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Merrill is a lethal weapon that the Cavaliers could sign before the regular season. He finished with 27 points and 4 rebounds shooting 57% from the floor and 50% from deep.