Emoni Bates signs off on idea that he could win Most Improved Player in 2024-25 NBA season

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David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Cavaliers rookie Emoni Bates may have come into the 2023-24 campaign in hopes of earning a solid role with the team.

However, he ended up making just 15 NBA appearances in the regular season, averaging 8.9 minutes and 2.7 points per game. He played in more games in the G League, and he was able to display his potential there, putting up 19.8 points and 5.9 rebounds per contest in the regular season.

The Cavs may still be in the thick of their playoff battle against the Orlando Magic, but it seems the 20-year-old wing has already set a goal for himself next season. His social media activity appears to suggest that he could look to contend for the Most Improved Player award in the next campaign.

Emoni Bates Cavs

It has certainly been a rocky first year for Bates in the NBA. After his stock fell so low that Cleveland was able to snatch him up with the 49th overall pick in the 2023 draft, he wasn’t able to capitalize at the beginning of the season with the Cavs looking for wing players to plug into the lineup.

Still, the Michigan native certainly hasn’t given up on his pursuit of becoming a key rotation player for the Cavs, as indicated by his possible desire to succeed Tyrese Maxey as the Most Improved Player.

Bates will need to work on several aspects of his game to complete his plan. One of the key improvements he must focus on is his efficiency from the field. In his 15 NBA appearances during the regular season, the young forward converted just 30.6 percent of his shots. He wasn’t that much better in the G League, where he had a 38.7 percent shooting clip in the regular season.

The offseason should provide Bates with plenty of opportunities to improve his craft.

Cleveland is hoping its offseason won’t start soon because that would mean having to go home from the playoffs earlier than it expected. The fourth-seeded Cavs are currently in a tense clash with the Magic. After winning the first two contests at home, they failed to steal one on Orlando’s home court. As such, the series now shifts back to Cleveland with a 2-2 standing.

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Orel is a freelance writer who is passionate about the NBA. He has followed the league since the late '90s and found increased interest in it in 2003 – when an 18-year-old prodigy from Akron, Ohio took the league by storm.