High school wing Emoni Bates, a five-star recruit who is considered the top prospect in the 2022 class, announced today on ESPN’s SportsCenter that he has committed to Michigan State, writes Travis Branham of 247Sports.com.
Bates, a 6’8″ small forward who plays high school ball in Michigan, is still just 16 years old but is already considered one of the best NBA prospects in years — Branham suggests that Bates may be the most highly-regarded high school prospect since LeBron James.
Despite Bates’ commitment to Michigan State over Michigan, there’s no guarantee that he’ll eventually suit up for the Spartans. As Branham notes, the youngster has long been considered a good bet to go pro out of high school rather than spending a year in the NCAA.
It’s possible that by 2022, the NBA will have tweaked its rules to allow players to enter the draft right out of high school. Even if the league’s one-and-done rule is still in place in ’22, Bates could opt for the G League professional path. Top 2020 recruit Jalen Green is reportedly expected to earn over $1MM in salary, endorsements, and appearances in 2020/21 by going that route.