Very few players have ever been anointed “the next best player ever” so early, and like most of them, Emoni to this point has considerably failed to live up to the hype of a 14-year-old with a SI cover.
247 even went as far as to call him the best high school player since LeBron James. A lack of physical development and somewhat lackluster efficiency as a 17-year-old playing both against older competitors and out of position has seemed to diminish significantly the once sky-high ceiling.
However, there are still multiple paths for the former prodigy to carve out a successful, even hopefully star career. The 6’9”, 190 lb wing has good scoring instincts and some ability to create for others. In this draft profile, we’ll break down the pros and cons of his game.
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As shown here Bates can score in a ton of different situations. Creating some shots out of nothing.
Learning to get himself easy baskets
The inability to get easy shots has really held Emoni back. But taking the reigns of a program where he can experiment with this is incredibly important to his future potential.
While not completely known for it there have been times when Bates has really flashed some playmaking for others
While not the biggest off-ball threat Emoni seems to have enough juice to bend some teams to allow lanes for others on his team.
Emoni is athletic and tall enough to guard 2-4.
As alluded to earlier Emoni struggles to create easy shots.
Emoni struggles with defense mainly because of his either neutral or negative wingspan and his slight frame. However, these things have been overcome before.
Projected Draft Range
I have Bates in the early second but could see him rising if his shot remains a viable off-ball weapon.
I have been comping Emoni to Nick Young and I still like it. Young had some great scoring years and per 36 was always around the 15-20 range of pints. I feel like Emoni will have a similar impact even if, like Young, his defense holds him back from playing enough.
Looking at the second round I would like him for Milwaukee, Boston, Cleveland, Memphis, Dallas, or New Orleans. Teams that could use a scoring wing could also cover for him on the other end.