The Cleveland Cavaliers have been up and down this season, and they could use a bit of a scoring punch off the bench.
Notably, they might have the answer to their prayers right in front of them, and they’ll just have to take a look at their G-League affiliate.
Emoni Bates was quite impressive in the preseason, and according to Cavs insider Mack Perry, he’s been fairly more efficient playing in the G-League than he was during his days in college.
Perry stated that as much as there are areas of improvement — like it happens with all young players — he’s been very impressive thus far.
I’ve been pretty impressed with him. Bates definitely has areas in which he needs work but that’s normal for all prospects. He has been pretty damn efficient compared to his days at EMU. https://t.co/oGCMaWwbf3
— Mack Perry (@DevaronPerry) November 30, 2023
Of course, Bates can’t play all nights because of his contract, but he could provide an instant offensive spark off the bench every now and then, or the Cavs could convert his contract to a standard one if they like what they see from him.
His talents have never been put in doubt, as he was once considered the best player in the nation at some point.
Off-court issues and immaturity took a toll on his sky-rocketing projection, but given enough time and patience, he can still become 20+ points per game scorer at the next level.
The Cavs are currently 10-8, and adding Max Strus proved to be the missing piece they needed for the starting lineup.
Even so, depth could be an issue going forward, which is why the development of a young, promising scorer like Bates could end up being key to this team’s success in the postseason.