Emmanuel Mudiay – G, Guangdong, China
Size: 6-foot-5, 200 pounds
2014-15 CBA stats: 18.0 points, 6.3 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 1.6 steals, 0.1 blocks, 3.3 turnovers in 31.5 minutes (12 games).
Why he fits
No offense to Darren Collison, but star point guards are the craze of the NBA and Mudiay has the ingredients to become one.
At 6-foot-5 with straight-line speed, hops and agility, Mudiay can push the break, attack the rim, post up and contain opposing guards. The Congolese-born American doesn’t shy away from contact and uses his strength to chase down rebounds.
The sample size is small (he missed three months of the CBA year to an ankle injury), but Mudiay has consistently demonstrated good instincts for playing the point. A pass-first guard, the 19-year-old has uncanny court vision and excels at the drive and dish. The Kings possess no distributor on their roster like Mudiay, and offensive guru George Karl would clearly love to coach a playmaker so committed to moving the ball.
Why he doesn’t fit
The Kings are desperate for shooters, so adding a guard with limited range makes little sense. Mudiay has yet to fix a hitch in his release mechanics, which led to unreliable midrange and downtown shooting as well as a 57.4 percent free throw percentage in the CBA.
Along with his inability to stretch the floor, Mudiay is turnover-prone and attempts wild passes. Sacramento finished 27th in turnovers this season and may not tolerate his sloppiness in exchange for his unselfishness.
Mudiay’s defensive effort comes and goes. He has the physical gifts to dominate on the less glamorous end of the court, but the same was said of Tyreke Evans at Memphis. Can the Kings and their porous perimeter defense take this gamble?
Likelihood he’s available
Questionable. Mudiay is the second-best prospect at the point behind D’Angelo Russell, but the 76ers (drafting third) and Knicks (fourth) both need ball handlers. Mudiay’s tantalizing two-way potential is similar to Dante Exum’s in the sense they are both raw, but the inexperienced Australian was too irresistible to pass up in the top five last summer.