With the No. 4 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, the New York Knicks controversially passed over Emmanuel Mudiay for Kristaps Porzingis. It was seen as a missed opportunity, albeit with New York landing an incredibly intriguing talent.
Not everyone is upset that Mudiay isn’t playing for the Knicks.
Nuggets rookie point guard Emmanuel Mudiay told confidants after the draft he was, in retrospect, happy the Knicks passed on him at No. 4, as he was unsure he would have been a good fit for the triangle. Despite public comments to the contrary that he felt team president Phil Jackson could “make me a star,’’ Mudiay said he felt he was a better match in a more freewheeling Denver offense, according to sources.
To be fair, the Triangle Offense has never been the easiest system for a ball-dominant point guard to thrive in.
The Chicago Bulls of the 1990s and Los Angeles Lakers of the early and late 2000s were built without a heavy dependence upon the play of their point guards. Players such as Derek Fisher, John Paxson and so forth were vital, but they weren’t traditional floor generals, if you will.
In Denver, Mudiay will have more room for creativity as he comes into his own through experimentation without limitation.
Michael Malone will be running more of an up-tempo offense, thus enabling the explosive point guard to properly utilize his athleticism. The Triangle Offense, meanwhile, is based in the half court and is more about precision than athletic ability.
For a young player who’s still developing their game, that can cause trouble.
Fortunately for the Knicks, Porzingis is coming along nicely and projects to fit the Triangle Offense well. Unfortunately for New York, Mudiay has the look of a future star.
If Mudiay lives up to his full potential, Phil Jackson and company will hear about it for years to come.
See: Stephen Curry.
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