In the past decade, there were few players as highly regarded in high school as Emoni Bates, who was all but penciled in as a future No. 1 pick in a future NBA Draft. The 6’9 wing was an incredible scorer and possessed all the tools to be a star at the highest of levels. Bates’ profile was so big that it was viewed as a slim possibility that he would even play NCAA Basketball.
After being committed to Michigan State for a while, the Ypsilanti, Michigan native de-committed and it looked as if the NBA G League team was going to be the route. However, head coach Penny Hardaway and the Memphis Tigers were able to pull off landing not only him but top-3 overall prospect Jalen Duren late last Summer, making them a preseason top-10 team for the 2021-22 season.
Things started out well for Bates and Memphis, averaging 16 ppg in the first three games. But proved to be the heights of what ended up being his one and only season with the Tigers. The team had its struggles on and off the court when it came to respective roles. Bates had several poor shooting performances and injuries didn’t help matters either, missing two whole months and not returning until the NCAA Tournament in a limited role.
On the season, Bates averaged 9.7 ppg and 3.3 rpg in 18 games played on 39% shooting from the field and 33% from three-point range. The 18-year-old saw his draft stock plunge and as expected, entered the transfer portal this offseason to get a new start somewhere else. He very well could join the NBA G League and just go pro but maybe a new NCAA Basketball program could allow Bates to break out next year.
Assuming he does pick a new team, here are 10 potential options that could work out for Bates.