Emoni Bates will be playing basketball at the professional or collegiate level sooner than expected.
According to Joe Tipton of On3Sports, the highly regarded recruit is reclassifying from the 2022 class to the 2021 class and considering the G League, Oregon, Memphis and Michigan State. Bates was listed as a 5-star prospect and the No. 2 overall player in the class of 2022, per 247Sports' composite rankings.
Tipton noted Bates trimmed Overtime Elite, NBL, Baylor and Miami from his list by cutting it down to four, although he added "it has also been assumed in most circles that Bates would indeed skip college and go pro."
The NBA will have to wait for some time, though, as Jeff Goodman of Stadium pointed out the forward will not be 19 years old until January 2023, leaving him ineligible for next year's draft. That at least leaves the door open for a two-year stint in college if he chooses to go that route.
That Michigan State is still on the list is notable since he decommitted from the Spartans in April.
"I would like to thank Tom Izzo and the coaching staff at Michigan State, but I have decided to reopen my recruitment," he wrote on Instagram. "I'm not sure what my future holds, but I am keeping all of my options open, both college and pro."
At the time, ESPN's Jeff Borzello reported Michigan State was the only program that was "consistently recruiting him" since "college coaches and industry sources have been skeptical that Bates will actually attend college, thinking he would potentially prefer to go to the G League."
There is plenty to like about his game as someone who likely will be in the NBA one day. He's a 6'8" versatile forward who can defend multiple positions and score either on the perimeter or by attacking the lane.
If he chooses to play collegiately, whichever team lands him will immediately become much better—likely even a Final Four threat.