Emmanuel Mudiay: Utah Jazz Season In Review
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The NBA is in a standstill as a result of the coronavirus outbreak that has sidelined professional sports across the globe. With 18 games left to play in the regular season for the Utah Jazz, and a date with the postseason on the line, it’s unclear when or if the season will return.
With game action in a holding pattern, it’s an ideal time to look at each player on the Jazz roster and how they have performed this season. Have they exceeded or failed to meet expectations, have they improved their game, remained steady, or seen a decrease in their level of play. Finally, how will they impact the team when games return, whether that’s to finish the 2019-20 season, or to begin the 2020-21 season.
The order of player evaluations will be done by jersey number, starting with the team’s lowest, and working to the team’s highest number.
Emmanuel Mudiay – 15 – Guard
Stats: 7.3 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 2.2 apg: .471/.355/.754
Emmanuel Mudiay was one of the stranger off-season signings in recent Jazz history but proved many doubters in wrong in his first 48 games for the team.
The four-year veteran had become a pariah in the eyes of many analytics-driven front offices around the NBA, making the guard’s signing with the Jazz, one of the leagues most number conscience staffs in the league a peculiar marriage.
With a dearth of cheap guards available on the free-agent market, the Jazz turned to Mudiay to assume the role of the fifth guard in the rotation, reserved for emergency minutes in case of emergency.
However, with former lottery pick Dante Exum sidelined for 12 games to open the season, Mudiay’s services were relied upon earlier than expected and the guard didn’t disappoint.
In the season opener, Mudiay scored 12 points and dished out five assists in a 100-95 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder proving his ability to impact games positively as a scorer off the bench.
Though Mudiay’s role has varied greatly with the acquisition of Jordan Clarkson, the big-bodied guard has been a positive for the Jazz more often than not when he sees the floor. In 48 games on the floor, the Jazz have outscored theer opponent in 28 of Mudiay’s appearances utilizing the guard’s scoring ability as a change of pace for the second unit.
Mudiay is comfortable pushing the tempo with the ball in his hands, a skillset the team appears to lack when either Mike Conley or Exum were on the floor this season, catching opposing defenses flatfooted in transition.
The guard’s best game came against his previous team the New York Knicks when he scored 20 points and handed out four assists in a blowout victory in Salt Lake City.
Though Mudiay may not be the top priority for the Jazz this offseason with a large salary likely being thrown towards Clarkson, he has earned himself another few seasons in the NBA by proving he can contribute to a playoff roster while flashing previously untapped potential as an efficient bench scorer.
Mudiay would be best served playing for coach Quin Snyder over the next few seasons under the Jazz excellent player development program but may be tempted to sign a larger contract with a team that can offer the free agent a bigger opportunity.
Regardless, Mudiay has been one of the Jazz most pleasant surprises this season, further revealing the team’s knack for finding talent where other teams fail to look.
Emmanuel Mudiay: Letter Grade: B
You can read the rest of the 2019-20 Utah Jazz player evaluations in the links below.
Utah Jazz Scoreboard
Utah Jazz Team Leaders
Utah Jazz Standings