Report: Emmanuel Mudiay Among PGs Hornets Targeting After Kemba Walker Leaves

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJune 29, 2019

New York Knicks guard Emmanuel Mudiay handles the ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Mary Altaffer/Associated Press

Former seventh overall pick Emmanuel Mudiay is among the point guards the Charlotte Hornets will target should three-time All-Star Kemba Walker leave in free agency, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Wojnarowski noted Elfrid Payton, T.J. McConnell and Ish Smith are also on Charlotte's radar.

After struggling to find his shot with the Denver Nuggets to start his career, Mudiay had a breakthrough season while playing for David Fizdale and the New York Knicks in 2018-19. He established new career highs in both scoring (14.8 PPG) and field-goal percentage (44.6 percent) this past season.

He entered last season having shot 37.4 percent through the first three years of his career, though he had steadily improved with each passing season.

Mudiay has had a hard time making it through an entire 82-game schedule healthy. He has averaged just 61.5 appearances per season thus far, never missing fewer than 14 contests. He was limited to 59 games this past season as he suffered ankle and shoulder injuries.

Back in December 2018, Mudiay acknowledged to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News that poor conditioning played a factor in his struggles in Denver. As he cut out fast food from his diet last offseason, he saw a drastic improvement in play.

Despite the 23-year-old taking a big jump forward last season, the Knicks opted not to tender him a qualifying offer, according to Ian Begley of SNY.tv. As a result, he will become an unrestricted free agent.

Charlotte, meanwhile, could be in the market for a point guard when free agency opens at 6 p.m. ET on Sunday. Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer reported Saturday that Walker has informed the Hornets that he intends to sign with the Boston Celtics.