The Cleveland Cavaliers will work out Eastern Michigan University’s Emoni Bates and the University of Kentucky’s Chris Livingston ahead of the 2023 NBA Draft, according to Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor.
The Cavs only have one pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, and it comes in the second round at No. 49. Cleveland owes its first-round pick and second-round pick in this season’s draft to the Indiana Pacers.
“The Cavs are continuing to do their homework,” Fedor wrote. “They have more workouts and interviews scheduled. Background checks are being conducted. Intel is being gathered. Sources tell cleveland.com that Akron native Chris Livingston, who is represented by Rich Paul’s Klutch Sports and surprisingly stayed in the draft despite an uneven freshman year at Kentucky, will come to town for a workout next week. Eastern Michigan’s Emoni Bates, once a ballyhooed prep star who started his college career at Memphis before transferring, is also scheduled to work out for Cleveland ahead of the draft.”
Bates was once considered one of the best high school players in the country, but he didn’t produce immediately at the collegiate level. However, he did have a strong season at Eastern Michigan in the 2022-23 campaign. The young forward averaged 19.2 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game while shooting 40.5 percent from the field and 33.0 percent.
The 19-year-old has the pedigree of a top recruit that could end up allowing him to succeed at the NBA level, but he does have a very thin frame as well. If he falls all the way to Cleveland at No. 49, he could certainly be worth a shot.
Livingston, a native of Akron, Ohio, appeared in 34 games for the Wildcats in the 2022-23 season. He started 26 of those matchups, but he had a small role offensively, taking just 5.4 shots per game.
He finished the season averaging 6.3 points, 4.2 rebounds and 0.7 assists per game while shooting 42.9 percent from the field and 30.5 percent from beyond the arc.
It’s no secret that the Cavs could use some help on the wing this offseason, especially since Caris LeVert is set to become an unrestricted free agent. While it wouldn’t be wise for the team to rely solely on whoever it takes at No. 49 to fill that potential void, it could be a place where the Cavs find some depth.
Both Bates and Livingston have solid pedigrees from their recruitments to college, but it’s unclear if either will develop well at the next level.
Cleveland should have plenty of players on its radar as the 2023 NBA Draft approaches.