The Lakers have brought in top-notch NBA Draft prospects for individual workouts over the last week. The likes of Jahlil Okafor, D'Angelo Russell and Emmanuel Mudiay have already auditioned for the purple and gold, while the team is hopeful Karl Anthony-Towns decides to accept an invitation to their practice facility. While most of the information from those individual workouts remains private, those sessions at least let us know which talents that the Lakers are interested in.
Both front-office executives and fans have had plenty of chances to see how Okafor and Russell play through their work during the college season and/or NCAA Tournament. However, there remains a singular prospect that stands as a bit of a mystery for both fans and NBA scouts in Emmanuel Mudiay. Despite his illustrious high school career -- which saw him as the top point prospect in the class of 2014 -- Mudiay decided to pass a spot with SMU to sign a one-year deal with the Guangdong Southern Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association.
Although that deal meant that Mudiay would be earning some significant money, it also meant that he'd remain "hidden" until the draft. That has forced Mudiay to stand as one of the biggest mysteries coming into the NBA. Due to both obsession and intrigue, I decided to try to get a more thorough understanding of Mudiay's game by watching some of the few full games that are available on YouTube. That obsession ultimately lead to the compilation video that you can watch below:
Based on that film, you can see that Mudiay has a terrific understanding of how to control the pace of an offense, whether it's in transition or the half-court. While he appears to be able to score off cuts whenever he desires, he still stands as a pass-first guard, which isn't' exactly the worst thing in the world. Mudiay can easily see over defenses and make plays that most point guards are able to because of his 6'5 frame. He also has an amazing knack for driving to the rim and making a perfect pass to a teammate out on the perimeter.
From the defensive end, Mudiay has elite potential based on his size and awareness. Mudiay loves to use his long 6'8 wingspan to stay in front of cutters or force loose balls. Perhaps the most impressive part of his work on defense is how quickly he was able to work around off-ball screens. Just in that compilation video, there were multiple instances where he was able to work around screens and still have time to disrupt a shooter.
The sample size may not be huge, but it's easy to see why he's such an intriguing prospect.