The second player we will be looking at is Emmanuel Mudiay of the Dominican Republic of the Congo. This potential Knick took the Brandon Jenning’s route by skipping college and playing overseas for a year. Now this may hurt Mudiay’s draft stock because NBA scouts haven’t seen him as much as someone like Karl-Anthony Towns, but, I don’t think that matters because Mudiay is a solid fit for the Knicks.
Player Comparison: John Wall
Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) Numbers
18 pts, 6.3 Rbds, 5.9 Assts, 47.8% FG, 57.4% FT
Emmanuel Mudiay has a rare combination of size, speed, and great court vision that every team looks for in a point guard. Unlike Russell, his first step is tremendously powerful and gives him a huge advantage over his defenders. He is a great rebounder for his height and his position. Plus, he is not afraid to draw contact, as seen in his play in China. Last year, the play he ran the most was the pick and roll and he more than thrived doing that. On the defensive side, Mudiay has a 6’8.5 wingspan which will help steal the ball from the crafty point guards that have taken over the NBA. He is also strong enough to battle against picks set on him to get back to guarding his man. One advantage that comes from playing in China, is that Mudiay has experience with playing with grown men who are very physical, in contrast to the still developing collegiate athletes.
Let’s start with the one that is easiest to fix, turnovers. In China, Mudiay was turning the ball over more than three times a game, which may not seem like a lot but, when he has to go against the better defenders in the NBA, it could become a problem. However, many players have this problem when they are young and he could definitely get out of the bad habit. The issue that all Knick fans should be freaking out about, is his horrible perimeter and free throw shooting. It doesn’t matter what country you do it in, shooting below 60% for free throws is a big deal and not something that can be changed easily. In China, he shot below 15% from behind the arc which is WAY below league standards for all players, not just point guards. And most of the time when your shooting is off, you can see a pattern like maybe the ball is short every time. But with Mudiay, the ball is all over the place. Yikes.
Fit with the Knicks
In regards to the triangle offense, he may have to adapt because the triangle offense eliminates pick and roll, which is Mudiay’s specialty. However, when the triangle offense failed (and it will from time to time) with the Lakers and Bulls, Jackson had Jordan and Kobe use the pick and roll. His defense will be a huge attribute to the team and his great rebounding for his position, will definitely help out the Knicks, who ranked 28 and 29 in defensive and offensive rebounding, respectively. While he sounds like a great fit, Knick fans may not want to see another JR Smith who is so inconsistent with his shooting. However, Mudiay’s great court vision, speed, athleticism, and defense make him look like a very valuable asset to the Knicks organization.
If you want to read D’Angelo Russell’s fit with the Knicks, click here
Tomorrow, we will look at the Latvian prospect, Kristaps Porzingis.