Tuesday, June 23, 2015

2015 NBA Draft: Top 10 Prospects — Emmanuel Mudiay

#4 Emmanuel Mudiay — 6'5" 200 lbs 19 yrs-old | DR Congo | Guard | Rookie | Guandong (China)

Bio: A native of the Congo, Mudiay moved to the United States when he was 5 years old. In high school in Dallas, he starred alongside former Baylor center Isaiah Austin and won a Class 4A title. Despite offers from Kansas, Kentucky and other top programs, he chose to stay home and go to college at SMU. But the cloud of a possible NCAA investigation instead sent Mudiay to China, where he played professionally for Guandong on a one-year, $1.2 million deal. Where he is selected in the 2015 draft could have an impact on future players choosing to play professionally in Asia over American colleges. Brandon Jennings, who followed a similar path as a teenager and played in Italy in 2008, was drafted No. 10 overall in 2009.

Emmanuel Mudiay [Upside: Chauncey Billups -vs- Downside: Iman Shumpert]

Strengths: Mudiay fits the prototype of the modern NBA point guard with his ability to create shots for his teammates as well as himself. He excels off the dribble and has a killer crossover. When he gets into the lane, he finishes at the rim. In the paint, he can back down smaller guards and exploit mismatches. His size and length are ideal for a lead guard, with his 6’8” wingspan complementing his lean frame. That wingspan can make him a menace on defense, where he has yet to show his full potential. He has good vision and feel on the defensive end, and he could quickly improve on that end of the floor in the NBA. His 6.5 rebounds per game in China showed his vision and awareness in grabbing long boards. He is very comfortable operating in the pick-and-roll, which is the heart of most NBA offenses.
Weaknesses: Jump shooting will be his biggest concern in the NBA. According to DraftExpress, he shot 30% from three-point range overseas. He has a tendency to take off-balance shots from bad angles, and that is the cause of some of his struggles, but it doesn’t explain his poor free-throw shooting (58.1%). His mechanics can be suspect, particularly his release. Although he creates lots of good looks for teammates, he is also prone to errant passes and turnovers. He suffered an ankle injury in China, and his health and physical shape are still minor concerns heading into the draft.
NBA comparison: John WallSports Illustrated

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