Emoni Bates flexes on his haters after helping Cavs win Summer League title

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Cleveland Cavaliers newcomer Emoni Bates has had a summer to remember.

After being drafted by the Cavs in June, Bates was able to get a taste of the NBA this month in Summer League. He made the most of it.

The youngster helped Cleveland cruise to the 2023 Summer League title without dropping a single game along the way. Understandably, he’s enjoying every moment of his first major accomplishment at the NBA level.

Bates seems genuinely thrilled by Cleveland’s Summer League title, which is just further proof that the Cavs have revived his love for basketball. It’s a wonderful sight to see as the 19-year-old looks to gain his footing at the NBA level and become a key player for his new squad.

The second-round pick averaged 17.2 points and 6.0 rebounds per game at Summer League, shooting 43.9 percent from the field and 40.0 percent from beyond the arc. The Cavs likely drafted Bates knowing that he’s going to be a project, but he showed a lot of potential this month over his six games.

Of course, a Summer League title isn’t the end goal for Cleveland. The Cavs have bigger dreams in mind, like contending for their first NBA championship since 2016. However, winning a Summer League crown is a wonderful accomplishment, and it often indicates that an organization has lots of young talent to look forward to in the future.

Bates’ role in the 2023-24 season will be an interesting storyline to monitor. It’s certainly no guarantee that he’ll get consistent playing time, but his showing this summer definitely gives the organization something to think about.

The rookie was once a projected lottery pick before a rocky collegiate career tanked his stock. He ultimately fell into Cleveland’s lap at No. 49 overall in this year’s draft, giving the Cavs a chance to take a low-risk gamble on a player with a pretty solid ceiling.

Where Bates’ career goes from here is anyone’s guess, but he’s clearly off to a pretty good start. Time will tell if he can carry the positive momentum into his rookie season with the Cavs.

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Jason has covered the NBA for multiple years and is very excited about the future of the Cleveland Cavaliers.