Emmanuel Mudiay

Timberwolves Sign-And-Waive Emmanuel Mudiay, Two Others

The Timberwolves announced the signing of former lottery pick Emmanuel Mudiay, along with guard Matt Lewis and forward Phillip Wheeler. All three were later waived, the team tweeted.

Mudiay will join Minnesota’s G League team in Iowa, according to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic (Twitter link), and Lewis and Wheeler will likely be headed there also. Krawczynski points out that new Timberwolves president Tim Connelly was running the Nuggets when they selected Mudiay with the seventh pick in the 2015 draft (Twitter link).

Mudiay, 26, was traded from Denver to the Knicks in 2018 and signed with the Jazz in 2019. He appeared in two games for the Kings last season after signing a 10-day contract in December and had a brief stay in Lithuania as well.

Lewis, 23, signed with the Timberwolves after going undrafted out of James Madison and played for Iowa last season. He averaged 11.1 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 32 G League games.

Wheeler, 20, played eight G League games last season with Rio Grande Valley and Mexico City. He also spent part of the year in Puerto Rico. His agreement with Minnesota was originally reported in June.

Kings Sign Emmanuel Mudiay Via Hardship Exception

DECEMBER 22: Mudiay’s 10-day deal is now official, the Kings announced in a press release.

DECEMBER 21: Veteran point guard Emmanuel Mudiay is set to ink a new 10-day contract with the Kings via hardship exception, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (via Twitter).

Mudiay was drafted with the seventh overall pick by the Nuggets in 2015 after playing for the CBA’s Guangdong Southern Tigers. He was named to the All-Rookie Second Team in 2016, but struggled to find a consistent place on the Denver roster as the club’s fortunes improved with the development of All-Star center Nikola Jokic and elite shooting guard Jamal Murray. Mudiay, still just 25, has also played for the Knicks and Jazz.

The 6’3″ guard holds career averages of 11.0 PPG, 3.8 APG and 2.9 RPG across 300 games, 165 of them starts. He boasts a career NBA shooting line of .401/.323/.759.

The five-year NBA vet’s last stint in the league came with the Jazz during the 2019/20 season. Mudiay most recently suited up for Lithuanian club Zalgiris Kaunas this year, but split with the team last month.

Woj adds that the team expects Mudiay to be available as soon as Wednesday against the Clippers for a very short-handed Sacramento team.

Per our health and safety protocols tracker, the Kings have seven players in the league’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols as of this writing: star point guard De’Aaron Fox, intriguing rookie guard Davion Mitchell, wings Terence Davis and Louis King, and big men Marvin Bagley IIIAlex Len and Neemias Queta. The team is also without 67-year-old interim head coach Alvin Gentry, who tested positive for COVID-19 last week. Assistant coach Doug Christie has coached the team in Gentry’s stead.

And-Ones: Foul Calls, New Ball, Mudiay, Acy

The NBA is pleased with the way its referees have handled the crackdown on foul calls on non-basketball moves so far this season, writes Tim Bontemps of ESPN. Monty McCutchen, the NBA’s VP of referee development and training, said that the refs are still focused on allowing offensive players to have freedom of movement and will continue to seek the right balance of foul calls as the season progresses.

“There’ve been a few instances, nothing that’s raised to a significant level, where we would still want a defensive foul where it’s getting lumped into a non-basketball move,” McCutchen said, per Bontemps. “We’re in the middle of that adjustment period with the staff. We have staff calls at a higher cadence than we would when we’re not implementing something as significant as this, and we’re showing them examples so that we can adjust in real-time to meet the demands of the league.”

As Shams Charania of The Athletic relays (via Twitter), the NBA’s competition committee has also discussed the increase in “take” fouls on transition plays and has encouraged the league to office to consider tweaking the rules for those fouls. However, that’s unlikely to happen in the middle of the season, so it may have to wait until 2022/23.

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • The NBA is using a new basketball this season, having switched from Spalding to Wilson. Clippers star Paul George said on Monday night that the Wilson ball doesn’t have the “touch and softness” of the Spalding one (Twitter link via Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times) and NBPA president CJ McCollum said he’ll discuss the ball this week with players to get their input (Twitter link via Chris Mannix of SI.com). For what it’s worth, president of league operations Byron Spruell said on Tuesday that the NBA hasn’t gotten much feedback on the new ball (link via Tim Bontemps of ESPN), and Seth Partnow of The Athletic is skeptical it’s the reason for the early-season dip in offensive efficiency.
  • Lithuanian team Zalgiris Kaunas has parted ways with former NBA lottery pick Emmanuel Mudiay, according to Donatas Urbonas of BasketNews.com (Twitter link). Sources tell Urbonas that Mudiay will likely continue playing in Europe — he’ll be eligible to sign with a new EuroLeague team next month.
  • Former NBA big man Quincy Acy has signed with Olympiacos, the Greek team announced in a press release. Acy, who appeared in 337 NBA games from 2012-19 and has since played in China and Israel, agreed to a deal that runs through 2022/23.

And-Ones: Njie, Young, Mannion, Mudiay

Swedish player Barra Njie is signing a contract in the NBA G League and entering the October 23 draft, agent Jerry Dianis told Hoops Rumors.

Njie rejected multiple offers from the EuroLeague and Liga ACB, Dianis said. The 6’3″ point guard was named Rookie of the Year in the Swedish Basketball League last season, averaging 17.8 points, 6.2 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game.

Njie, 20, will be NBA draft-eligible for 2022 and attended St. Benedict’s Preparatory school before signing overseas.

Here are some other odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Speaking of the G League Draft, former NBA guard Joe Young will also sign a contract and enter the event, according to Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files (Twitter link). Young played 127 games with the Pacers from 2015-18, most recently spending time in China.
  • Former Warriors guard Nico Mannion dealt with an intestinal infection caused by salmonella this summer, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando tweets. Mannion estimates that he lost over 40 pounds due to the infection, and photos eventually surfaced online of his poor condition. He made his debut with Italian club Virtus Bologna on Saturday.
  • Emmanuel Mudiay recently discussed a variety of subjects with Antonis Stroggylakis of EuroHoops, including his recent impressive performance overseas and why he chose to spend the last year away from basketball. “I just wanted to take some time off and spend time with my family,” said Mudiay, a five-year NBA veteran who signed with Zalgiris Kaunas (Lithuania) in August. “I just stayed at home to be with my family.”

Emmanuel Mudiay Signs With Lithuanian Team

Veteran point guard Emmanuel Mudiay has inked a one-year contract with the Lithuanian club Zalgiris Kaunas, per an official team announcement.

The 25-year-old was selected with the No. 7 pick by the Nuggets in the 2015 draft. Across his 300 NBA games played between 2015-20, Mudiay averaged 11.0 PPG, 3.8 APG, and 2.9 RPG on .401/.323/.744 shooting. Beyond his tenure with the Nuggets, Mudiay also suited up for the Knicks and Jazz. His last NBA stint was spent with Utah during the 2019/20 season.

Mudiay received offers to play in the G League and in Europe in 2020/21, according to a recent report, but turned them down in hopes of catching on with an NBA team. The former lottery pick, who played on the Trail Blazers’ Summer League team this year, was once again angling for an NBA comeback. However, his agreement with Zalgiris Kaunas had been anticipated as a contingency plan.

Though this marks Mudiay’s first appearance with a European team, this is not his first experience in a non-NBA pro league. Back when he was an elite high school prospect, the 6’3″ Mudiay opted to bypass college, instead signing a one-year, $1.2MM deal with the Guangdong Southern Tigers in China for the 2014/15 season before entering his name into NBA draft consideration.

Mudiay still has to report to the team in Lithuania and undergo a physical examination.

And-Ones: Mudiay, Vonleh, Griggs, Schedule

Free agent guard Emmanuel Mudiay will likely sign with Zalgiris Kaunas in Lithuania if he doesn’t receive an NBA offer before training camps open, according to Donatas Urbonas of BasketNews. Mudiay is currently playing for the Trail Blazers in the Las Vegas Summer League.

After five years in the NBA, the 25-year-old sat out all of last season. He received offers to play in the G League and in Europe, according to Urbonas, but turned them down in hopes of catching on with an NBA team.

Mudiay was taken by the Nuggets with the seventh pick in the 2015 draft and spent two and a half seasons in Denver before being traded to the Knicks. After a year and a half in New York, he signed with the Jazz as a free agent in 2019. Mudiay averaged 7.3 points and 2.1 assists per game as a backup during his lone season in Utah.

There’s more from around the basketball world:

  • Free agent big man Noah Vonleh is getting interest from some NBA teams, but is considering offers in Europe and China as well, according to Sportando (Twitter link). The 25-year-old spent two weeks with the Nets in February and appeared in four games before being waived.
  • Highly-recruited high school guard Bryce Griggs has signed with Overtime Elite, the league announced in a press release. The 17-year-old out of Missouri City, Texas, will join the new league when it begins play next month. “Bryce Griggs is a player that has been recognized as one the nation’s most promising playmaking guards and we are thrilled to welcome him to the OTE family,” said Brandon Williams, OTE’s executive vice president and head of basketball operations. “Bryce has had one of the best coaches and mentors in John Lucas, and has been attracted to the combination of an NBA caliber coaching staff, sports science, performance and nutrition focuses that will play a crucial role in his development into an NBA player.”
  • The NBA will release its schedule for the 2021/22 season in the 7-10 days, tweets Marc Stein of Substack. Celtics writer Steve Bulpett hears that Friday is the target date (Twitter link).

Northwest Notes: Wolves, J. Butler, Mudiay, Favors

The Timberwolves‘ second stint with former No. 5 overall pick Ricky Rubio wasn’t the fairy tale reunion either side hoped for, writes Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic in a breakdown of the team’s trade with Cleveland and what it means for the Wolves moving forward.

While the Wolves are receiving solid three-and-D wing Taurean Prince as the return for Rubio, Krawczynski writes that Prince isn’t viewed as the solution to the team’s long-running search for a starting power forward, but rather as a rotation wing.

One benefit to the deal is an added $4.8MM in cap flexibility, which could allow the Wolves to use their entire taxpayer mid-level exception while possibly adding last year’s first round pick Leandro Bolmaro as well. Kracwzynski writes that the team explored trades into the draft and for Hawksforward Danilo Gallinari, but in the end were satisfied with the return of Prince.

We have more news from around the Northwest Division:

  • Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune details the Jazz‘s excitement upon trading down in the draft to land Baylor guard Jared Butler with the 40th pick, as well as two future second rounders. Butler, whom Utah was initially targeting in the first round, is viewed as someone who can play off the bench immediately, or even fill in should the Jazz lose Mike Conley to free agency.
  • Veteran point guard Emmanuel Mudiay will play for the Trail Blazers during Summer League, tweets Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. The former No. 7 pick has bounced around the league since being traded from the team that drafted him, the Nuggets, to the Knicks in 2018, but the 25-year-old will be looking for a chance to get his career back on track with a strong showing in Las Vegas.
  • Derrick Favors was caught off-guard by the trade that will send him from the Jazz to the Thunder,writes Tony Jones of The Athletic. “Honestly, I’m still trying to process what happened,” Favors said. “It was tough to go to New Orleans, but I thought that there was a chance that I would come back to Utah. Now, I know this is it. So, there’s a lot to think about and a lot to work out.”

And-Ones: Lowry, Summer League, EuroLeague, Mudiay

The destiny of unrestricted free agent veteran Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry this offseason will be a key story to monitor. The Athletic’s writers engaged in entertaining mock Lowry free agency negotiations this week, acting as Lowry’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, and team reps for the Raptors, Heat, Mavericks, Knicks, and Sixers. In the exercise, Lowry ultimately selected the Heat.

The 35-year-old Lowry, a six-time All-Star and a 2019 champion with the Raptors, averaged 17.2 PPG, 7.3 APG, and 5.4 across 46 games during the 2020/21 season. He posted a shooting line of .436/.396/.875.

Here are some other odds and ends from around the basketball world today:

  • The NBA has announced its COVID-19 health and safety protocols ahead of the upcoming 2021 Summer League in Las Vegas, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. There are significant differences between the restrictions placed on fully-vaccinated players and non-vaccinated players, ranging from quarantine restrictions to the frequency of testing for the novel coronavirus and permitted activities while in Las Vegas.
  • The EuroLeague has reached an agreement with its players’ association, the ELPA, on the first unified CBA across the league, per Alessandro Maggiuro of Sportando.
  • Lithuanian EuroLeague club Zalgiris Kaunas may sign recent former NBA lottery pick Emmanuel Mudiay, writes Donatas Urbonas of BasketNews.com. The 6’3″ point guard opted to bypass college ball and turned pro after high school, playing with the Guangdong Southern Tigers of the CBA during the 2014/15 season. He was selected by the Nuggets in the 2015 draft with the No. 7 pick, and served stints with the Knicks and Jazz. He last played in the NBA for Utah during the 2019/20 season.

Free Agent Rumors: Batum, Thomas, Mudiay, Ferrell, Briscoe

The Hornets plan to waive Nicolas Batum and use the stretch provision on his $27.1MM contract for the upcoming season in order to sign Gordon Hayward, unless they can figure out a sign-and-trade deal that would save them from stretching Batum.

Assuming he’s released, Batum shouldn’t have trouble finding a new home. His agent, Jeremy Medjana, told Basket Session that the Warriors, Jazz, Clippers, Bucks and Raptors are interested in signing him once he clears waivers (hat tip to Frank Urbina of HoopsHype). Batum, who has played for Charlotte the past five seasons, only appeared in 22 games last season.

Here are more free agency notes and rumors:

  • Former MVP candidate Isaiah Thomas said his latest hip procedure was a success and he’s eager to prove it, the Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach reports. Thomas says he feels like his former self in workouts. “I was blowing by people,” he said. “I haven’t blown by anybody since I had a Celtics uniform on.” Thomas was waived after the Wizards traded him to the Clippers in February and remains unsigned.
  • Reserve point guards Emmanuel Mudiay and Yogi Ferrell are generating some interest on the free agent market, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports tweets. Both players could likely be had for the veteran’s minimum.
  • Point guard Isaiah Briscoe hopes to return to the NBA, according to Hoops Rumors’ JD Shaw (Twitter link). Briscoe went undrafted out of Kentucky in 2017, but made it onto the Magic’s roster for the 2018/19 season. He spent the 2019/20 season in Poland playing for King Szczecin. In 39 games with Orlando, Briscoe averaged 3.5 PPG, 2.2 APG, and 1.9 RPG, across 14.3 MPG.

Alex Kirschenbaum contributed to this post.

Northwest Notes: Mudiay, Jazz, Dooling, Thunder, Nuggets

After signing a one-year contract with the Jazz during the 2019 offseason, Emmanuel Mudiay didn’t play a major role in Utah. His 15.7 minutes per game represented a career low and he fell out of the team’s rotation in the postseason.

Still, Mudiay tells Brandon Robinson on the Heavy Live With Scoop B Show that his year with the Jazz was “great” and that he “learned a lot” from head coach Quin Snyder and top assistant Johnnie Bryant. The veteran point guard added that he’d be open to a new deal with the club if the opportunity arises.

“Like I said, they taught me so much,” Mudiay said of the Jazz. “The staff was amazing; I have nothing negative to say about Utah, everything was great. So if it’s there, it’s definitely something that I’ll look into. I’m not about to make a decision right now, but definitely, like I said before, the team was great and that’s definitely something that I’ll reconsider for sure.”

Here’s more from around the Northwest: