The road to the NBA has been quick for Emmanuel Mudiay, but it has taken him many, many miles. From Congo to Dallas to China, the 19-year-old went through countless obstacles that most one-and-done guys never encounter. Still, we find ourselves in L.A. less than three weeks away from him achieving his dream of walking across that stage to shake the Commissioner’s hand at the 2015 NBA Draft.
Fresh off of working out for the Lakers and the Knicks, Mudiay held a private workout to showcase the work that he’s been putting in over the last few months. Having played only 12 games with Guangdong in the Chinese Basketball Association before suffering an ankle injury, and was forced to return to the States to recover before making a surprise return to the Far East to help his squad attempt to advance in the CBA playoffs. While Guangdong did not ultimately advance, he showed the type of heart that every team hopes for out of a lead guard. Thursday in L.A., we were able to see that he had the game to match as well.
Training with Geo Aispuro out of Impact Basketball‘s Los Angeles branch, Mudiay went through an hour long workout that started with showcasing one of the biggest concerns of his game: His jumpshot. It was obvious that he made some tweaks in his form. While he didn’t shoot many NBA three-pointers, the revamped mechanics lead you to believe that the 34 percent that he shot from three this past season in China was not a fluke.
“I’m a better shooter. My work ethic has changed,” Mudiay said. “You always feel like you can improve. Watching Steph Curry and how he shoots…everyone wants to shoot like that.”
Doing a ton of full-court work, Mudiay was able to highlight the type of explosion that the Prime Prep product offers. He changed speeds exceptionally well, flew down the floor, and exploded off of the ground to throw down a number of absurd dunks. With end-to-end speed that is special and the ability to burst off of ball screens, he will be deadly in transition and coming off of ball screens. That wasn’t all that he brought to the table physically, though.
Standing 6-5 with a chiseled 209-pound frame, Mudiay will enter the League as one of the more physically imposing point guards. Guys will simply bounce off of him once he gets into them on both ends of the floor. Dating back to his high school days, E-Man has shown the ability to post smaller guards. Defensively, he already has the size and strength to lock down on either guard slot.
“I’ve always loved to post up. My brother teaches me a lot of post moves because he was a big, so having someone like that really helps,” he said while rocking a fresh pair of Under Armour kicks. “I feel like it’s a point guard’s job to elevate your teammates and get everyone involved.”
Mudiay is set to make trips to show his stuff to the Sixers on the 16th and Timberwolves on the 20th. Competing in one-on-none workouts like most potential top-five picks, Mudiay will show NBA GMs just about everything that we saw today. As is the case with all workouts of this nature, there are also a number of things that you won’t be able to see. Though the sample size will be small for these four teams, the Dallas product feels that his body of work is enough to get him a spot in the top-four come June 25.
“You never know what you’re going to get in these workouts, especially when you’re by yourself. There’s only so much you can do,” Mudiay said. “If teams do their homework, I”m pretty sure that they know about me.”
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