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Emmanuel Mudiay Is Excited To Play For A Playoff Team

New Utah Jazz player Emmanuel Mudiay answers questions at a press conference at the Zions Bank practice facility in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, July 23, 2019. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz introduced their newest player in guard Emmanuel Mudiay, who comes to Salt Lake City very motivated.

He finished his fourth NBA season with the New York Knicks, where he played two seasons in the big apple.

Mudiay had the best season of his career during the 2018-19 campaign, where he averaged 14.8 points to go with his 3.3 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game. He shot 44 percent from the field and 33 percent from downtown.

He is excited to join a team that is a contender.

Why He Chose Utah

Mudiay has had an up and down start to his career. He was named to the All-Rookie team when he was with the Denver Nuggets and had a career year last season with the New York Knicks. But one reason why he chose the Jazz was the success of reaching the postseason.

“The season that they have been having the last couple of years was a big part in my decision,” Mudiay said. “Coach (Quin) Snyder was someone who reached out to me and I listened to everything that he had to say. It all made sense. The success that they have been having was a great fit for me.”

When he was going through the process of finding a team to sign with and when he decided on Utah, he and his former college coach Larry Brown had a long conversation about Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder.

“Larry Brown is someone who is really close to me,” he stated. “He knows Coach Snyder pretty well.”

The season hasn’t even started yet and future Jazzman Mike Conley is recruiting free agents to the join the Jazz.

“Mike Conley is someone who reached out to me as well,” Mudiay said. “That is someone that I have a lot of respect for. I am going to look at him as a big brother and he can mentor me.

But the playoff drought was something that Mudiay wanted to change.

“Obviously, me personally, I have never played in the Playoffs,” Mudiay said. “I have seen what this team has done in the playoffs. There are a couple of things here and there that could have went the right way for them to go and move on in rounds. I think this year is a great opportunity for me and the team as well to keep moving forward in the direction to reach the obvious goal of a championship.”

Utah’s Development Process

It is starting to go around the NBA that Snyder and his coaching staff are really good at developing players. That created interest with Mudiay by seeing players going through his system getting better.

“The thing that was definitely appealing was the development process that they have,” Mudiay said. “A lot of players have come here have definitely gotten better. That’s something that I wanted to do.