Former top recruit Emoni Bates officially declares for 2023 NBA draft
Eastern Michigan sophomore Emoni Bates, a former top-five recruit, announced on Monday that he declared for the 2023 NBA draft ahead of the early entry deadline.
Bates was named to the All-MAC third team after averaging 19.2 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists on 33% shooting from 3-point range. He finished third in the conference in scoring and had the ninth-highest-scoring game in the country when he produced 43 points on Jan. 24.
The 19-year-old joined the program last year after one season at Memphis. He committed to head coach Penny Hardaway as the fifth-ranked prospect in the class of 2021 but failed to live up to expectations after injuries and other issues limited him to just 18 games. He averaged 9.7 points.
He was then involved in a traffic stop that resulted in two felony charges.
Bates was arrested in September after police found a firearm in his vehicle. He was charged with carrying a concealed weapon and altering identification marks on a firearm, which resulted in 18 months of probation after he pled guilty. He was suspended by the school but was later reinstated in October after the charges were dropped.
The conviction will be expunged from his record following his probation.
Bates was viewed as one of the top high school prospects in recent memory and drew some comparisons to Kevin Durant. He became the first sophomore ever to win Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year in 2020 and just the sixth underclassman to win at the time.
However, he has largely failed to live up to the hype in two years in college, though, flashed some of that potential in spurts this season with the Eagles. He has been known as a scorer and showed that ability throughout the year, which could translate to the next level.
Despite a prolific career to this point, Bates is considered a potential second-round pick. There are questions regarding his size at 6 feet, 10 inches and 190 pounds, and his ability as a defender. He has also yet to establish himself as a consistent shooter.
It is unclear if Bates has signed with an agent or retained his ability to return to school next season. But he will have the chance to gain feedback on his potential draft stock from teams in workouts and interviews over the next several weeks.
The NBA draft will take place on June 22.
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Story originally appeared on Rookie Wire
Source: Yahoo Sports