The Cleveland Cavaliers made a few moves during the offseason, including the addition of incoming rookie Emoni Bates.
The 19-year-old, who was chosen as the 49th overall pick in last summer’s draft, is hoping to really make an impact on the team during his first year in the NBA.
On Tuesday night, Bates showed a bit of what he’s capable of.
He scored 10 points, 2 rebounds, 1 block, and 1 steal during 14 minutes against the Atlanta Hawks in a preseason game.
Following the game, Bates posted on Twitter, “I just played my first NBA game and I still got chills man I’m so blessed and thankful to be here.”
I just played my first NBA game and I still got chills man I’m so blessed and thankful to be here❤️💯
— Emoni Bates (@BatesEmoni) October 11, 2023
Ballislife compiled Bates’ game, including his impressive fourth-quarter output.
The Cavaliers ultimately lost the game but Bates was playing like a man who was ready to earn some minutes in the upcoming regular season.
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) October 11, 2023
In the final seconds of the game, with the Cavaliers behind by just one point, Bates caught a pass and sank a pivotal three-point shot with 11 seconds left.
The reaction from the Cavaliers’ bench said it all: this team believes in their young rookie.
Bates was bringing the sort of energy that Cleveland will need in the season ahead.
They had a strong year in 2022-23 but ultimately fell short in the playoffs and didn’t make it out of the first round.
This was partly because the roster wasn’t very deep and they didn’t have many strong bench players.
Bates could be an important second-unit star.
On Tuesday night, Cavaliers fans got their first good look at what Bates is capable of.
And now they are ready to see even more.