Emoni Bates

And-Ones: Kilpatrick, Bennett, Bates, Mahmoud, 2022 Draft, Baker

Israel’s Hapoel Jerusalem continued its push to sign former NBA players, adding Sean Kilpatrick and Anthony Bennett to its roster, according to the team’s social media feed (Twitter links). Kilpatrick played in Turkey last season and hasn’t appeared in an NBA contest since 2018. Bennett, a former No. 1 overall pick, had his contract with a Puerto Rican franchise terminated last month. He hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2016/17 season. As previously noted, Hapoel Jerusalem also announced the signing of Pistons and Cavaliers big man Thon Maker.

We have more from the basketball world:

  • Emoni Bates, considered the best high school prospect in the country, has committed to the University of Memphis, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets. He reclassified into the Class of 2021  but still won’t be eligible for the NBA draft until 2023 because his 19th birthday isn’t until January 2023. A 6’9″ small forward from Ypsilanti, Michigan, Bates committed to Michigan State last summer, but he de-committed in April.
  • Anas Mahmoud played with the Raptors in the Las Vegas summer league and is looking to become the first homegrown Egyptian player to make the NBA. Blake Murphy of The Athletic takes a closer look at the 7-footer, who could be ticketed to the G League if he doesn’t gain a spot on the Toronto roster. “I’ll probably be the first Egyptian coming out of the Egyptian league,” Mahmoud said. “I was a little different (from other Egyptians who have made the NBA) because I only got here right (before) college and went back to play in the (Egyptian) league. It’s a pleasure and it’s an honor.”
  • Gonzaga power forward Chet Holmgren, Duke power forward Paolo Banchero and G League Ignite shooting guard Jaden Hardy top ESPN Jonathan Givony’s initial top-100 list for the 2022 draft. Givony also explores a number of storylines surrounding next year’s projected draft class, including the lack of point guard depth.
  • Former NBA guard Ron Baker quietly retired last year and he’s got a new job, according to Shelby Kellerman of the Wichita Business Journal. Baker has been hired as a project manager in Ascension Via Christi’s strategy and business development department. Baker, 28, appeared in 96 games during his NBA career, including a combined 15 with the Knicks and Wizards during the 2018/19 season.

And-Ones: Redick, Ball, Bates, Nurse

J.J. Redick, who finished last year on the Mavericks after being traded from the Pelicans, has no plans to sign a deal before training camp, he said on a recent episode of his podcast The Old Man And The Three.

You know, I would say, pretty much definitively, like, I won’t be in a training camp to start the season,” he said. “That’s not gonna happen. So, you know, I’ll join a team at some point this season and finish the year and try to go get a chip. That’s the plan.”

Redick was vocally unhappy with what he felt were broken promises by Pelicans executive vice president David Griffin, which may have contributed to his desire to take his time in finding a new team.

We have more news from around the basketball world:

  • LiAngelo Ball feels that he proved his worth with the Hornets’ Summer League team, writes Roderick Boone of Sports Illustrated. “I feel like I belong in the league, but I know I can show more than what I did,” Ball said. “I’m not satisfied with how I played this last game, but overall it was all right.” Ball started hot in his first game, but ended up shooting 37.5% from three with more turnovers than assists. ESPN’s Jordan Schultz quotes Hornets’ assistant Jay Triano as saying: “Great kid. Love him. He was at the facility practicing everyday for two months to play in the Summer League. Shows a ton of character.”
  • High school basketball phenomenon Emoni Bates said that the fame of being on the Sports Illustrated cover – and generally being considered the top young prospect in the country from age 15 – was “fun at first,” but soon grew irritating, writes Jeff Goodman of Stadium. “The things people say definitely affect me,” Bates said. “People don’t really know me. If people knew who I really was, I don’t think they’d be saying some of the things they say.” Bates admits that he considered quitting, but said that he has finally gotten back to enjoying the game.
  • Nick Nurse will remain in his role as Team Canada’s head coach during the lead-up to the 2024 Olympics, writes Michael Grange of Sportsnet. Nurse is hoping he can recruit the best of Canada’s deep crop of talented players to join him over the next three years. Grange writes that Nurse wants a core group to train next summer and be ready for the World Cup qualifiers in June and August.

And-Ones: Bates, Olympics, Free Agents, VanDeWeghe

Emoni Bates, who is considered the best high school prospect in the country, will reclassify into the Class of 2021  but still won’t be eligible for the NBA draft until 2023, writes Jeff Borzello of ESPN.

A 6’9″ small forward from Ypsilanti, Michigan, Bates committed to Michigan State last summer, but reconsidered in April. The Spartans are still among the options he is considering, along with Oregon, Memphis and the G League. Wherever Bates goes, he may stay for two years.

NBA draft rules require players to be a year removed from their high school graduating class and turn 19 in that calendar year. Bates’ 19th birthday isn’t until January of 2023.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Tuesday’s losses by Argentina and Spain probably ended the long Olympic careers of Luis Scola, Marc Gasol and Pau Gasol, notes Brian Mahoney of The Associated Press. All three players had success in the NBA, but they’re equally famous throughout the world for what they accomplished in international competitions. “I’m 41,” said Scola, who won an Olympic gold medal in 2004 and a bronze in 2008. “I don’t see that many people playing that are my age.”
  • French teammates Evan Fournier and Nicolas Batum were both in Tokyo when their contract agreements were being finalized, writes Joe Vardon of The Athletic. They are among a handful of players who are having the unprecedented experience of focusing on the Olympics and NBA free agency at the same time. “This morning I woke up at 3:30, I called my agent, like, ‘You gotta get a deal done right now so I can move on from it,’” said Batum, who got a new two-year contract from the Clippers.
  • Long-time NBA league office executive VP of basketball operations Kiki VanDeWeghe has moved into a new role as special advisor, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

And-Ones: Brown, Bates, Afflalo, All-Underrated Team

The Milwaukee Common Council has approved a $750K settlement in a lawsuit brought by former Bucks player Sterling Brown over his 2018 arrest, according to an Associated Press report. Brown was taken to the ground and shocked with a Taser after he was approached by police over a parking violation.

As part of the settlement, Brown was given an apology from the city and Milwaukee police that “recognizes that the incident escalated in an unnecessary manner and despite Mr. Brown’s calm behavior.” It also requires the city to commit to changes in the police department’s standard operating procedures. Brown is currently playing for the Rockets.

We have more news and notes from around the basketball world:

  • High school star Emoni Bates decommitted from Michigan State and ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and Jeff Borzello take a look at where Bates might end up. Bates, who is currently attending a prep school created by his father, won’t be eligible for the draft until 2023. Numerous colleges have made offers to Bates after he decommitted but he still has another year to go before he pursue that route. He could take the G League route if he graduates this spring but would have to stay there for two years due to the NBA’s age limit.
  • Former NBA player Arron Afflalo was part of a group that tried to purchase the Timberwolves and Afflalo is continuing to seek other opportunities to become a part-owner of a franchise. The Athletic’s David Aldridge spoke with Afflalo about his conversations with the Timberwolves and other topics.
  • Rudy Gobert, Jrue Holiday and De’Anthony Melton top the list of players on John Hollinger’s All-Underrated Team. The Athletic columnist lists his top 10 in that category, plus another group of that made his Honorable Mention list.

Emoni Bates Decommits From Michigan State

Five-star prospect Emoni Bates, widely considered to be the top player in the Class of 2022, has announced that he has decommitted from Michigan State and re-opened his recruitment. Bates made the announcement in an Instagram post on Friday night.

“I would like to thank (head coach) Tom Izzo and the coaching staff at Michigan State but I have decided to reopen my recruitment,” Bates wrote. “I’m not sure what my future holds but I am keeping all of my options open, both college and pro.”

Bates, a 6’8″ forward, could attend another college, head overseas, or play in the NBA G League with the Ignite. Many industry and coaching sources believe he would be open to playing in the G League for a year, Jeff Borzello of ESPN.com reports.

The Ignite recently landed five-star prospect Michael Foster Jr. and top Chinese prospect Fanbo Zeng, with more young athletes expected to be added in the coming months. Projected high-lottery picks Jalen Green and Jonathan Kuminga were among those who played for the team this past season.

“Let’s just put it like this. Whatever options that are available to him, we will lay them out and present them to him, but the ultimate decision is his,” Bates’ father, Elgin, said of his son’s situation back in March, according to Adam Zagoria of Forbes.com.

“If the G League is something he wants to do, if he decides that’s what he wants to do, that’s perfectly fine. He can do the G League. If Michigan State is what he wants to do, that’s perfectly fine. If he wants to entertain going overseas, that’s perfectly fine. If he just wants to sit out and train for a year, it’s whatever he wants to do. It’s his decision.”

Bates, 17, currently projects to be the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NBA draft.

And-Ones: Bates, Trades, COVID-19, Udoh

Emoni Bates is the number one player in the country, according to ESPN’s basketball rankings for the class of 2022. While most kids would join a blue blood program (he’s committed to Michigan State) in their one season before the NBA, times have changed. According to Brendan Quinn of The Athletic, many sources think that Bates will forgo his college eligibility to play in the G League, just as top 2020 recruit Jalen Green did. 

“Of all the sources interviewed for this story, those existing in and out of the Bates’ camp, no one seems to believe Emoni will play at Michigan State,” Quinn wrote. “Instead, Bates most likely will wait for a professional contract, probably the most lucrative the G League can muster, and turn professional before heading to the NBA.” 

However, according to Emoni’s father, Elgin Bates, no decision has been made just yet, as Adam Zagoria of Forbes writes.

“If the G League is something he wants to do, if he decides that’s what he wants to do, that’s perfectly fine,” the elder Bates said, via Zagoria. “He can do the G League. If Michigan State is what he wants to do, that’s perfectly fine. If he wants to entertain going overseas, that’s perfectly fine. If he just wants to sit out and train for a year, it’s whatever he wants to do. It’s his decision.”

Here are a few more tip-ins from around the basketball world: 

  • A handful of ESPN experts (Insider link) shared the trades they’d like to see happen ahead of the NBA’s March 25th trading deadline. The potential swaps ESPN’s insiders proposed included a three-team trade that would send Kyle Lowry home to Philadelphia, Aaron Gordon going to the Timberwolves, and the Clippers acquiring George Hill.
  • According to a study published in JAMA Cardiology, fewer than 1% of pro athletes infected by COVID-19 also developed inflammatory heart disease. “Only time will tell if, five years from now, we’ll have an epidemic of failed hearts,” said Dr. Robert Bonow, a cardiologist at Northwestern University and editor of JAMA Cardiology who was not affiliated with the study, per ESPN’s Kevin Seifert. “But I think that is unlikely.”
  • Ekpe Udoh, who spent seven seasons in the NBA for the Warriors, Bucks, Clippers and Jazz, has landed a deal to play in China for the Beijing Royal Fighers, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.

Top 2022 Recruit Emoni Bates Commits To Michigan State

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.