In a two-sentence post on Instagram, Emoni Bates became the most sought after high school prospect in the country, regardless of class.
Bates, an SI All-American First Teamer, decommitted from Michigan State on Friday and said this time around he was considering college and pro options.
The news was in line with backchannel whispers surrounding Bates for more than six months. Bates originally committed to the Spartans last June.
This past season, Bates dominated to the tune of 24.1 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.8 steals a game, while playing a grueling schedule this season.
The numbers are even more impressive when you consider that Bates’ fame as “the next big thing” garners him, arguably, more defensive attention than any other high school player in the country.
Bates donned the cover of Sports Illustrated at just 15 years old and has always been heavily rumored to be a reclassification lean from 2022 to 2021.
Last weekend the NCAA announced that sports would return to normal recruiting calendars on June 1, lifting the dead period after having to extend it eight times over the past year due to the pandemic.
If Bates stays in 2022, expect his college visit tour to be in full swing.
Still, Bates’ hype would likely earn him the biggest payday in the short-lived high school to G League route history.
Jalen Green earned just over $500,000 according to reports when he made the jump last year.
Bates’ deal could nearly double that, according to sources close to the situation.
He could receive even more than that if he goes the overseas route.
Two years ago, R.J. Hampton made more than $2 million between his contract and a Li-Ning shoe deal when he shunned college to play in New Zealand.
Hampton went No. 24 overall in the 2020 NBA Draft to the Denver Nuggets, and was recently traded to the Orlando Magic.
Bates is projected to be the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.
That said, expect the blue bloods to do their due diligence, applying the full-court recruiting press on Bates.