The Dallas Mavericks struck gold in the 2022 NBA Draft when they selected Jaden Hardy with the 37th overall pick. Hardy was ranked second in the high school class of 2021 according to the ESPN 100 but fell to the second round after struggling during his one season for the G-League Ignite.
Hardy averaged 8.8 points and shot over 40 percent from downtown during his rookie season and is proving that he shouldn't have fallen that far in the draft. He was elite in high school, but some NBA scouts doubted his abilities after a limited sample against professional competition.
Could the Mavericks get another steal in the second round of the 2023 NBA Draft?
Former projected lottery pick wants to play for Dallas Mavericks ahead of the 2023 NBA Draft
This particular potential steal was ranked as the number one player in the 2022 high school class at one time, but he reclassified to the class of 2021 and attended the University of Memphis and later Easter Michigan. His name is Emoni Bates, and he wants to play in Dallas.
Bates went on Instagram Live to interact with fans on Monday night and was asked some of the teams that he liked ahead of the 2023 NBA Draft.
"Detroit, Charlotte, Dallas."
Bates has no control over where he'll play next year, but it's a good sign that he already has an interest in Dallas. To take Bates, Dallas would have to trade into the second round or trade back in the first round (assuming they keep their pick), but it could be worth it if they think of Bates as highly as they thought of Hardy during last year's draft.
Since Bates' Instagram Live, he posted on his Instagram Story to clarify his comments about the teams he wants to play for.
"Not tryna (trying to) confuse nobody, I just said three teams I would want to hoop for. Don't mean that's where I'm going to end up, and anywhere is a blessing for me."
The 6'9 forward averaged 19.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 0.7 steals per game while shooting 40 percent from the field and 33 percent from downtown. The shooting numbers aren't great, but they came at a high volume as he shot 15.9 shots per game and was the main scorer on his team.
These numbers are better than Hardy's shooting percentages from his season with the G-League Ignite, and Bates could see similar improvement to his numbers once he has a decreased offensive role in the NBA.
Stay tuned to see if the Dallas Mavericks takes Emoni Bates on June 22 in the 2023 NBA Draft. He has the chance to be a steal like Hardy and would bring another dynamic scorer to the Mavericks' bench.
Stay tuned to see if Dallas takes Bates on June 22 in the 2023 NBA Draft. He has the chance to be a steal like Hardy and would bring another dynamic scorer to the Mavericks' bench.