Emoni Bates shows love to Craig Porter Jr. and Pete Nance for earning new deals with Cavs

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Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Cavaliers wing Emoni Bates showed love to both Craig Porter Jr. and Pete Nance for earning new deals with the franchise.

Porter, who started the season on a two-way deal, has made an impact with the Cavs this season after going undrafted, and he was rewarded by the team with a four-year contract.

With Porter off of a two-way deal and now on a standard contract, the Cavs signed big man Pete Nance to a two-way deal to fill that spot. Nance was playing on the Cleveland Charge – teaming up with Bates, who is also on a two-way contract.

“It’s good, man, especially because that’s what we’re all working for eventually — an NBA deal,” Bates said when asked about his two teammates receiving deals. “I’m proud of Pete, especially because that’s my teammate. I’ve been with him, down there with the Charge a lot, and I see how hard he been working. I’m pretty sure y’all see the development he has from the beginning since he got here until now. Even Craig, everybody knows he’s almost like my big brother for real. But, I’m very proud of him. We talk every day. I hang out with him every day. So, I mean for him, I know he gon’ do good, especially when it gets to playing for real. And it’s a blessing for all of us, man, just to be here and just be able to get better every day.”

It’s great to see Bates so excited for his teammates, and it shows just how strong of a bond some of the young Cavs players have together.

Porter has played in 32 games for the Cavs this season, making five starts and averaging 14.7 minutes per game. He’s set a great example for Nance and Bates to show them how to get a standard deal at the NBA level.

The rookie guard is averaging 6.5 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game while shooting 50.9 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from beyond the arc. Having Porter on the roster was key for the Cavs when guard Darius Garland was sidelined with an injury to his jaw.

As for Nance, he has made an impact at the G League level this season, and the Cavs clearly believe in his future. The former University of North Carolina forward has appeared in 13 games for the Charge this season and is averaging 14.9 points, 8.1 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game. He’s also blocked 1.7 shots per game.

The Cavs have done a solid job of developing young talent, and they’re certainly hoping that Bates and Nance can prove to be diamonds in the rough like Porter.

Bates, the team’s second-round pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, has seen some NBA action for the Cavs this season, appearing in 10 games and averaging 1.8 points per game. The former top recruit will look to continue improving at the G League and NBA levels for the rest of the 2023-24 season in hopes of earning the NBA deal that he covets.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.