The fans have spoken again, and they go with a highly touted high school prospect that didn’t quite hit right at the college level. With the 39th pick in the At The Hive community mock draft, the Charlotte Hornets take Emoni Bates, wing out of Eastern Michigan.
Bates has long been in the limelight. He was on the cover of Sports Illustrated as a sophomore and was receiving major Division 1 offers early in his high school career. However, his development seemed to stall a bit, and he left high school as one of the best, but not the best prospect in his class. He went to Memphis, where he struggled as the youngest player in college basketball. He transferred to Eastern Michigan, where he put up good numbers but struggled with efficiency.
As a prospect, Bates is one of the most talented shooters in the class. He has deep range, off-the-dribble shooting ability, and unwavering confidence. He has a quick trigger and insane jump shooting talent. He has a chance to be a microwave scorer off the bench just based on his shooting ability alone.
The rest of his game needs a lot of work. He tested very poorly at the combine and his athletic limitations are very apparent on the court as well. He struggles to get by his defender and his a sieve defensively. He doesn’t have any vertical pop nor does he have the strength to make up for it. He’s a shoot first, shoot second, pass as a last resort player on offense, so he’ll be heavily reliant on his jumper to make an impact. He also won’t be afforded the leash he was given at Eastern Michigan, where he helped lead his team to an 8-23 record and second-to-last place finish in the MAC.
On one hand, it’s easy to see what role Bates would fill should he fulfill his NBA potential–microwave scorer that can get hot and make a bunch of shots but not do much well. However, the lack of depth to his game makes it hard to project him as anything more than that.