Report: Emmanuel Mudiay Was Glad He Wasn't Drafted by New York KnicksJuly 20, 2015
If certain details of a report published Saturday by the New York Post's Marc Berman are true, Emmanuel Mudiay may need to send Kristaps Porzingis a fruit basket this summer.
Mudiay, an athletic Congolese guard who spurned a year of American college hoops to play professionally in China in 2014-15, was one of the biggest question marks coming into the 2015 NBA draft on June 25.
Once considered a possible No. 1 overall prospect, Mudiay fell to the Denver Nuggets at No. 7 thanks to the rise of Porzingis-mania in the weeks before the draft.
The allure of the Euro mystery bag proved too much for the New York Knicks, who passed on a capable scoring threat in Mudiay and instead took the 7'0" Latvian center fourth overall.
Berman writes that Mudiay was fine not being drafted by the Knicks because he didn't want to play in Phil Jackson's triangle system:
Nuggets rookie point guard Emmanuel Mudiay told confidants after the draft he was, in retrospect, happy the Knicks passed on him at No. 4, as he was unsure he would have been a good fit for the triangle. Despite public comments to the contrary that he felt team president Phil Jackson could "make me a star," Mudiay said he felt he was a better match in a more freewheeling Denver offense, according to sources.
Now, the Nuggets aren't exactly an offensive monolith.
Ty Lawson led the team in scoring with 15.2 points a game in 2014-15, and as Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Sunday, the Nuggets are dealing him to the Houston Rockets for Kostas Papanikolaou, a protected 2016 first-round draft pick and a raft of flotsam just days after he was arrested in Los Angeles on a DUI charge. So there goes that.
But if you're a kid looking to get buckets in the league immediately, Denver is a better option than, say, becoming one of the defibrillator paddles in Phil Jackson's desperate campaign to resurrect the triangle in New York.
Mudiay doesn't seem averse to playing for rebuilding teams (he worked out for the Los Angeles Lakers twice), but he could be deathly allergic to the discord and general cluelessness that's been on display in New York for the past decade and change.
Dan is on Twitter. He's not above mocking a team down on its luck, it just has to be the RIGHT team.