(Photo via SBNation.com)
The 2015 NBA Draft will take place on June 25, 2015 in Brooklyn, New Jersey at the Barclays Center. The draft is less than 2 weeks away and we’ll take a look at a few of the prospects that are projected as lottery picks.
We start off our evals with Texas high school stand guard Emmanuel Mudiay.
2015 NBA Draft Evaluation:
Emmanuel Mudiay (19 years and 3 months old, Point Guard, Guandong Southern Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association via Arlington, Texas)
Video Highlights (pre-draft workout):
The most impressive of all is Mudiay’s size for a point guard; it is imposing. Mudiay was measured at 6’5 and 200 lbs at the 2014 Hoops Summit but based on the recent video of him during workouts for teams he has packed on some weight in the form of solid muscle. I would estimate his weight at about 210-220 with a very low body fat percentage. His wingspan and standing reach are about average for a guy his size, 6’8.5 and 8’4 respectively, but combine it with his great height, girth, strength and athletic ability for a player at the point guard position the total package of physical tools is mightily impressive.
Incredibly rare combination of size, strength, quickness and explosive leaper. He has been compared to both John Wall and Russell Westbrook, but isn’t quite as quick as Wall or as explosive as Russell; however, he isn’t too far off in either area and has the added bonus of being bigger than both players. Mudiay did not participate in the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago so we don’t have hard data such as vertical leap measurement or time in the various agility drills, but game film and video of him in workouts provide a pretty good picture of where he stands in terms of athletic ability and he is at or near the top of this draft class.
Mudiay’s biggest strength will be his ability to make plays for both himself and others. Mudiay has great ball handling ability, can go both left or right equally as well, and has a devastating first step which will allow him drive by defenders and get in the paint with ease. Mudiay can get by defenders without the need for a screen. His great height for a point guard will allow him the ability to see over defenders and find cutters and shooters in the perimeter once in the paint. Mudiay is a true point guard with good court vision and willingness to hit open teammates, but also has the tools, confidence and aggression to score when needed.
One of Mudiay’s strengths is his passing ability and vision. Mudiay is a true point guard that constantly looks to make the correct pass to open teammates before looking to score himself. Has experienced a high turnover rate in his high school and very short international career which have many questioning his decision making. Many of Mudiay’s turnovers are due to his very aggressive approach and penchant for flair, which should be tempered over time with coaching and maturity.
Outside shooting ability:
The glaring weakness in Mudiay’s game is his outside shot which is below average and inconsistent. You can see one video of Mudiay’s shot where his mechanics look pretty good and then you’ll see other video where it is outright atrocious. We posted a video of the latter on Twitter:
— raining3s (@raining3sdotcom) May 25, 2015
Mudiay shot 34.2 percent from behind the arc in China which is about average by NBA standards but shot 57.4 percent from the free throw line which is poor for a guard.
It appears that his mechanics are improving if you base that on the pre-draft workout video we showed above but again, his mechanics have been inconsistent so that could just be his stroke on one of the good days. The positive sign about shooting and mechanics, they can be improved, but a pure, natural shooter Mudiay is not.
Ability to get own shot:
Exceptional. Mudiay will be able to get by defenders with ease due to a great first step and ball handling ability. Add to the fact that he has great size and strength he’ll be able to bully his way to the rim and finish better than most point guards. Because Mudiay’s outside shot is shaky at this point they will likely give him space on the perimeter and go under every screen so he will need to improve his consistency from the outside to keep defenses honest and make better use of his quick first step.
How he will score in the NBA:
If Mudiay can improve his outside shot to at least an average level, say in the Derrick Rose neighborhood, he will be hard to stop and will be a prolific scorer in the NBA. Until then Mudiay will get a majority of his points by driving and finishing at the rim and from the free throw line when defenders have no choice but to foul him. From day one Mudiay’s will have the ability to get by perimeter defenders and finish around the basket with his great strength, leaping ability, aggression and size. Mudiay is right handed but can finish with either hand. He will also have the size advantage at his position to get post up opportunities but that type of play is rarely seen in today’s game even when there is a great mismatch, but the opportunity will usually be there.
Great defensive potential. Mudiay has all the tools to become a great defender at the NBA level with his size, strength, athleticism, lateral quickness, straight line quickness and quick hands. SMU coach Larry Brown had great praise of Mudiay, especially about what he will be able to do on the defensive side:
“Emmanuel’s 6-5, he’s long, he’s athletic. I think he can keep the ball in front of him.”
Basketball IQ and intangibles:
In terms of confidence and aggression, Mudiay ranks high. Due to his high turnover rate his Basketball IQ is brought into question, but, again, we see that more as that more as a byproduct of his high level of confidence and aggression. His questionable decision making is more apparent in half court sets than in the open court where Mudiay really excels. Like his shooting, his decision making is also inconsistent. In the same game he’ll make a dazzling and smart play at one time and then make a play that will make you scratch your head at another time.
Projected draft position:
Projected position in the NBA:
Comparable NBA player:
His bottom would be Tyreke Evans and his ceiling would be a variation of John Wall (not as quick but more explosive and stronger).