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Wing | Eastern Michigan
Height: 6’9” | Weight: 190 lbs
2023 Draft Age: 19.39
Joe Rondone/The Business Appeal-USA TODAY NETWORK
It wasn’t way back that Bates was viewed by most as a generational talent. He was the primary sophomore to ever win Gatorade National Player of the 12 months and legitimately looked like among the finest high schoolers on the planet at 16 years old.
Since then, the hype has only shrunk. While he had a spectacular finish to his highschool profession, some red flags did begin to seem with Bates, most notably with shot selection and decision making.
In what was a novel situation, Bates headed to varsity at 17 years old to play for Memphis. He was slated to need to play two college seasons as a consequence of being ineligible for the 2022 NBA Draft due to his age.
Last season, his freshman season with the Tigers was extremely underwhelming. On the largest stage as one of the crucial anticipated players within the country, he battled injuries and struggled even when he was on the court.
Bates has at all times been an elite scorer, having no problem getting buckets from all three levels. He doesn’t have elite speed or quickness with the ball in his hands, but is amazingly tall with a wide selection of dribble moves. The 6-foot-9 wing is a mismatch for opposing defenses and great in isolation.
There’s rarely a shot Bates takes that he doesn’t like. He’s proven to be willing and in a position to take shots of high difficulty, making stepbacks and fadeaways from all over the place on the court. Moreover, he’s got deep range and has no hesitation in shooting from 25 feet.
While he’s a gifted scorer that may generate a shot anytime he wants it, this often gets Bates in trouble. He’s known for sometimes shooting greater than he should and being a ball stopper on offense. Can he become a player that may be effective inside the flow of an offense and make the team around him higher?
When Bates’ shot is falling, he looks like an elite NBA scorer that may thrive within the isolation kind of the league. When it’s not, he looks lost and in over his head. This is the reason Memphis’ numbers looked much worse for many of last season when Bates was on the ground than off.
Like most wings his age, Bates needs so as to add weight to his frame and get stronger. He’s really not an elite athlete and thus far has relied on skill over athleticism. He’s also got a negative wingspan which could concern some NBA teams.
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On the flip side, Bates is among the finest wings on this class from a creation standpoint. He’s got an incredible handle for his size and is a good passer. He may not be the passer, facilitator or decision maker that many hoped he would turn out to be, but there’s still a probability he evolves into a degree forward.
Bates’ situation at Memphis was one of the crucial interesting storylines of the whole college season last yr. Was the moment just too big? Can he get back on target?
The stakes will still be high this season after transferring to Eastern Michigan. He may not be playing against the identical level of competition, but NBA teams will only need to see him dominate much more now. With an additional yr of experience under his belt, the hope is that Bates begins to thrive.
Him staying healthy can even be key for consistency and development. The highschool phenom handled several injures last season and will never get right into a rhythm. Bates is an aggressive player and big competitor that also has the potential to be a implausible NBA talent.
There’s no reason to present up on the 18-year-old at this point, but he’s actually not a lock to be taken in the primary round of the upcoming draft. Bates is the form of player that might quickly stand up draft boards if he has an incredible season with Eastern Michigan. There’ll likely be teams within the 2023 NBA Draft which might be willing to take a risk on him regardless, but others may only view him as a second-round project.
Overall, Bates must turn out to be a greater decision maker and improve his shot selection. Learning to play inside an outlined role might be key for him moving forward. Can he be effective without being a volume shooter?
Last season at Memphis, Bates played in 18 games (13 starts) while producing 9.7 points and three.3 boards per contest. He shot 32.9% from beyond the arc and 44.2% on 2-pointers.
Late First-Round Pick or Second-Round Pick in 2023 NBA Draft.
2023 Big Board
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