Emoni Bates Scouting Report

Scouting Reports

Emoni Bates was a generationally hyped high school prospect in the years before enrolling early at Memphis in 2021. Following a transfer to his home area at Eastern Michigan, Bates had a productive sophomore season. As a sophomore he earned All-MAC honors, averaging 19.2 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 1.4 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.5 BPG, and 2.5 TOPG on splits of 40.5/33/78. Below is his full scouting report:

Name: Emoni Bates

Height/Weight: 6’9/179

Wingspan/ standing reach: 6’9/8’9

Hand size: 8 ¼ 

Position: SG

Pre-Draft team: Eastern Michigan

Tools: Scoring


  • Good rebounder
  • Able to create in isolation well
  • Good touch on his runner
  • Gets to the line at a good rate
  • Has the capability to finish above the rim through traffic
  • Good handles and strong ability to step back on defenders to create space
  • Deep range on his jumper


  • Me-first approach and play style
  • Can drop his guide hand too easily off of jumpers
  • Small hands
  • Small frame relative to body
  • Poor finisher at the rim
  • Lacks an explosive first step; relies heavily on a stutter step
  • Doesn’t get strong closeouts
  • Motor comes and goes
  • Negative assist:turnover ratio
  • Needs to add strength
    Must improve passing accuracy

Swing Skills:

  • Scaling down to a specialized role
  • Defensive buy-in


Emoni Bates is a shot creator and shooter with ideal height at 6’9, but he has baggage with him that prevents him from being a seamless translation to the NBA.

Offensively, Bates looks for himself both first and almost exclusively. His unwillingness to pass may stem from being at a midmajor with a lack of high-level talent next to him, but he rarely looked for teammates, and instead would reset dribbles over and over again to get his own shot.

If he chooses to scale his game down and become a scoring specialist/microwave within the flow of the offense, Bates does have good value. His off the dribble scoring and ability to create space at his size are still advanced, along with good shooting form. Luckily for Bates, while he did take more off the dribble jumpers than catch & shoot jumpers at Eastern Michigan, he was still a successful standstill shooter. Bates has good range and a quick release on his jumper, but does need to reduce his dip and improve his starting point on his jump shot. Currently, he starts at his waist, but he needs to begin his shot closer towards his lower chest to be able to cleanly get these shots off against NBA defenses.

Defensively, Bates has a low ceiling due to poor length relative to his height, inconsistent motor, and being late to react to shot contests with minimal impact on shot contests due to length. If he can buy into having a full motor on the defensive end for plays that won’t show up in the stats in addition to steals and the likes, he will see improvement as an off-ball defender. As an on-ball defender, being in stance helps make a difference, but he still is beatable, and can be bullied off his spot due to needing to add strength. Overall, it would be surprising to see Bates become a positive NBA defender.

Overall, if Bates can buy into being an off-ball shooter with good size and play hard on defense, he has a realistic path to NBA minutes. The intel teams receive both from external sources and from determining that outcome via direct interviews and workouts will be key. How that intel turns out will likely shape where Bates ends up on draft night. Being 19 years old until the halfway point of the season could play into his favor, as teams can attribute any immaturity about his desired role onto his youth, which can give him a longer leash than most second round prospects. Remember, this is Bates’ first draft-eligible season following his first year at Memphis. 

Similar to: Late career Carmelo Anthony, Nick Young

Projected draft range: 40-undrafted

Expected role: Microwave scorer

Unplayable if: Lack of adjustment/scaling down to NBA role limits teams from taking a chance on him.

Exceeds expectations if: He can first scale down into a specialized microwave role, then he can further develop into a more all-around scorer. In this NBA, scorers who don’t make their teammates better are becoming frozen out more and more, so if he can find ways to make his teammates better he will stick in the league.

Miscellaneous Synergy Stats:

Off the dribble jumpers: 71-210 (33.8%; 63rd percentile)

Catch & shoot jumpers: 40-104 (38.5%; 74th percentile)


Shot chart: