So the San Antonio Spurs have been tread-milling for the most part since Kawhi Leonard’s departure and it is common sense you
don’t replace a player of Kawhi Leonard’s caliber with DeMar DeRozan and expect to be a contender any longer. That is no knock on DeMar DeRozan he has never been seen as an elite player at the NBA level and is the primary reason Raptors GM Masaj Ujiri pulled the plug on the Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan bromance. In business there is no feelings, DeMar and Kyle were the best of friends but year after year they failed to get past LeBron James in the Eastern Conference and at some point something has to change. Lamarcus Aldridge had made some tweaks to his game and started shooting more 3-pointers in order to space out the floor more which lead to the Spurs winning more ball games and adapting with the times. The Spurs might just make the playoffs as they battle it out with the Blazers,Grizzlies,and Pelicans for that last spot in the Western Conference but at this point what is the point of making the Playoffs and going out early?
The San Antonio Spurs were a dynasty for quite sometime but they no longer have a Tim Duncan or Kawhi Leonard on the roster which leads me to believing that the only way the Spurs will get back to prominence is if they put the tank button on turbo for Emoni Bates the 2022 NBA Draft. For all I know Emoni Bates elects to play in the NCAA which will delay his entrance into the NBA but the kid has greatness written all over him and could be the perfect running mate for Dejounte Murray. The kid is efficient shooting from 3 point range shooting it at 37 percent and is hauling own close to 6 rebounds a night along with a career high 4 assists per game this season. He is only averaging 10 points per game this season but I am not expecting him to become a Stephen Curry or Damian Lillard in his career. At best he averages 22-23 ppg in his prime when he reaches the age of 27-28 but most important of all he is a 2-way guard and plays both ends of the floor, he can guard up to 3 positions on the floor and is a phenomenal on ball and off the ball defender. Throw in Emoni Bates who has the opportunity to be an elite scorer and the San Antonio Spurs could have the recipe for a future contender if they build right around Dejounte Murray and Emoni Bates.
Emoni Bates has a killer instinct most important of all and has aspirations of becoming the greatest player ever so hopefully a San Antonio Spurs scout or someone within the Spurs organization reaches this article and gets the word out to R.C Buford. I am thinking of John Stockton and Karl Malone for some reason when I think of Dejounte Murray and Emoni Bates because the Utah Jazz were title contenders for years with those two and had one of the greatest coaches of all-time in Jerry Sloan at the helm, sure they never won a championship together but if Michael Jordan was not around for the 1990’s maybe they win at least 1 together. The San Antonio Spurs have always been known for being a zero nonsense organization which is the environment Gregg Popovich has created from the moment he took over as Head Coach and it has resulted in 5 NBA Titles, some criticize Popovich because they feel Duncan was the reason why Popovich ever won any titles and of course he has coached Tony Parker,Manu Ginobili, and Kawhi Leonard who will all likely go in the Hall-of-Fame someday. It’s time to hit the reset button in San Antonio, the Spurs are going nowhere fast and they should have their eyes solely set on Emoni Bates and no one else.
Early on I could see Emoni Bates having his growing pains so Bates’s Rookie season might be all about developing his frame, the kid is a twig and has the frame of a young Kevin Durant. I would hold my head watching Kevin Durant attack the basket early on in his career because I felt he would snap his skinny legs if he runs into traffic in the paint and got fouled hard but Kevin Durant was surprisingly strong despite his skinny frame. Emoni Bates I believe will be further along mentally than Kevin Durant was going into his Rookie season and Emoni Bates is already a better shooter than Kevin Durant ever was at the age of 15-16. Assuming Emoni Bates comes into the NBA at 18 I do not believe it will take long for him to become a top 10 scorer in the NBA due to his approach to the game, this kid wants to be the best and is on a mission to prove it. He’s got the shooting range,ball handling, and footwork to easily average 20 ppg in his Rookie season, Emoni Bates won’t need 2-3 years of grooming to become a great player. With the playing time he receives his rookie season and a full off-season I believe he will be ready to carry the San Antonio Spurs with Dejounte Murray and possibly get them in the Playoffs.
To conclude the league has been searching for the next Michael Jordan in Kobe Bryant,Dwyane Wade,LeBron James,Kevin Durant, and you can even through Stephen Curry in the mix but this kid Emoni Bates has that “It” factor and I believe will make an impact from Day 1. Kawhi Leonard’s tenure with the San Antonio Spurs without Tim Duncan on the roster was very short, Kawhi Leonard played at an MVP level and did a great job of leading the Spurs as the first option and we will never know what would’ve happened in the 2017 Western Conference Finals if Zaza Pachulia hadn’t tripped Kawhi Leonard on the baseline. Gregg Popovich is part of the Tim Duncan,Kawhi Leonard,Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili era and the man can make a case for being the greatest coach ever but he does not deserve to exit the NBA having to coach a team in the midst of a rebuild. The San Antonio Spurs should be focused on hiring Avery Johnson or Tim Duncan to coach the franchise both former Spurs who I think will pick up right where Popovich left off and of course with Emoni Bates and Dejounte Murray leading the way, till next time.