Cleveland Cavaliers rookie forward Emoni Bates has had a whirlwind journey to the NBA, facing adversity after leaving high school as a highly touted high school prospect that not only led him from Memphis to Eastern Michigan but also began to sap his joy for the game.

Fortunately, the Michigan native has been making himself right at home in the NBA.

After being selected 49th overall in the 2023 NBA Draft, Bates signed a two-way contract with the Cavs. Just 19 years old, Bates will allow get plenty of reps with the Canton Charge and still be available for up to 50 regular season games for the Cavs. If his showing in the Las Vegas Summer League is any indication of what he can provide Canton and Cleveland, the fans are in for a show.

Named to the 2023 All-Summer League second team with averages 16.8 points and 6.2 rebounds per game and 41.0 percent shooting from 3, Bates has displayed a level of tough shot-making that inspires images of J.R. Smith.

While its unknown if the Cavs’ former sniper has had an opportunity to chop it up with Bates, several NBA vets are helping him transition to the NBA, including Cavs star Donovan Mitchell, Memphis Grizzlies superstar Ja Morant, Phoenix Suns superstar Kevin Durant and NBA legend Carmelo Anthony.

“I’ve got a lot of [NBA] vets in my corner,” Bates reveals. “Of course, Donovan [Mitchell]… Ja [Morant], Dejounte Murray, Miles Bridges… Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant. Like they all just tell me to stay in the gym. Like to just keep working.”

“For me to have those guys to talk to for help, it means a lot to me…”