No. 4: Emmanuel Mudiay
Similar to a handful of the Blazers’ current players, former 2015 No. 7 pick Emmanuel Mudiay has become a point of conflict because of analytics.
The heaviest dose of his shot attempts come from that 10-to-16 feet area, either through the much-maligned midrange shot or in the non-restricted area. That’s basically his game. The deep 2-pointers and floaters.
That could be one of the reasons he’s yet to find a team, but to his credit, he was extremely efficient on such shots, going 60-of-129 on said shots. And, it wasn’t too long ago that many believed Mudiay was turning the corner in New York, setting himself up for a successful run.
Given that the experiment with Utah ended after just one season, Mudiay still has something to prove in terms of being able to contribute to a winning franchise.
To his credit, the end of his tenure with Utah was much better than it began, in large part because Mudiay admitted he was learning Quin Snyder’s system, as opposed to making a statement, according to the Salt Lake City Tribune.
That article hit on some of Mudiay’s most redeemable traits, too. He plays hard, fights through screens, is improving as a shooter — see his career-high 34.5 percent shooting clip a season ago. It’s not quite at league average (36.6), but it’s close.
By this point, Mudiay’s passing isn’t quite what we expected when he was drafted in 2015, but he’s still a player capable of providing some relief minutes throughout this season. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him working the floor, running drive-and-kicks with the Portland Trail Blazers and their second unit.