Fans of SportSmasher.com know that we are huge New York Knicks fans, and if you read my piece on the future of the Knicks in the wake of Kristaps Porzingis season ending injury, is is exactly the type deal I was hoping the Knicks would make at the deadline. Emmanuel Mudiay is just 21-years-old, he is a gifted athlete and a physical specimen at (6’5 200lbs), but he fell out of favor in Denver because he cannot shoot. Emmanuel Mudiay was drafted seventh overall in the 2015 NBA Draft, he has showcased his immense talent at points during his career, but desperately needed a change of scenery. On a rebuilding Knicks team, which will be without its franchise player for the next year and is tanking to get a top pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, is a perfect place to allow Emmanuel Mudiay to develop. There is a chance the Knicks stole a good player here, Mudiay is just 21-years-old and is a lockdown defender, he may flourish when actually getting playing time and all the trade cost them was backup Doug McDermott. So the Knicks traded a player that can only shoot for a player that only can’t shoot.
NOTE: Before the Knicks traded for Emmanuel Mudiay, they had discussions with the Orlando Magic involving point guard Elfrid Payton, but Orlando would not pull the trigger unless the Knicks included Frank Ntilikina in the deal. If the Knicks traded Frank Ntilikina to get Elf Payton I may have renounced my fandom. Payton is a 23-year-old point guard who can’t shoot, but he is also one of the worst defenders in the NBA, and giving up Ntilikina for him would have been insane.
NOTE: While the Knicks are in tank mode, hopefully we get to see some Ntilikina and Mudiay backcourts, good luck to opponents trying to bring the ball up.
NOTE: One of the biggest issues in the wake of the Phil Jackson era was the lack of athletes and athleticism on the Knicks roster, Phil wanted players with high basketball IQ who fit The Triangle, and athleticism did not matter while evaluating players. The new regime wanted to get more athletic at the deadline, and by swapping Doug McDermott for Emmanuel Mudiay, they have certainly accomplished that.