So far, Emoni Bates of the Cleveland Cavaliers has been one of the breakout stars of the preseason.
In his first two games, the rookie has scored double digits and has done so in a short amount of time too.
He is not only receiving accolades from fans but also his teammates.
Donovan Mitchell gave a huge shout-out to Bates on Twitter, saying, “Youngin like that!!” after Bates’ latest superb game.
Bates saw the praise and responded, tweeting, “My dawg” to the four-time All-Star.
My dawg🤞🏽💯 https://t.co/yEAxRSzCyq
— Emoni Bates (@BatesEmoni) October 13, 2023
In his first preseason game, Bates scored 10 points, going 4-from-7 on the floor in the closing minutes against the Atlanta Hawks.
A few nights later, Bates was at it again, scoring 12 points in 12 minutes and shooting at 50%.
It was then that so many people started to wonder if Bates was the real deal.
Could he be one of the best rookies of the new season?
This year’s rookie class is obviously very crowded but Bates is making people think he could be among the greatest.
He didn’t receive a ton of notice in June’s draft, selected as the 49th overall pick in the second round.
But Bates is showing that it doesn’t matter where you land in the draft.
The Cavaliers couldn’t be happier to see Bates producing so much in these preseason games.
They need a much deeper roster and can’t simply rely on the starting lineup of Mitchell, Darius Garland, Evan Mobley, and Jarrett Allen.
They fell apart in the postseason for a number of reasons but part of it had to do with a lack of depth.
Bates is here to help fix that.