Utah Jazz point guard Emmanuel Mudiay will become an unrestricted free agent this fall.
The Denver Nuggets‘ seventh pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, Mudiay has career averages of 11 points, 2.9 rebounds and 3.8 assists.
This season, Mudiay averaged 7.3 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists for the Jazz who finished 44-28 and in sixth place in the NBA’s Western Conference standings this season.
“Man, Utah was great for me,” Mudiay told me on the Heavy Live With Scoop B Show.
Mudiay appeared on the show along with his brother, Jean-Michel Mudiay while promoting his nonprofit Emmanuel Mudiay Foundation, which focuses on the uplifting single parents and children and feeding communities across the globe.
“I have nothing but great things to say about Utah,” said Mudiay.
“When I chose to go to Utah, Coach Quinn Snyder he talked to me on the phone during free agency last year and he said, ‘You know when you come over here, we know what you can do but you’re going to have to sacrifice a lot and that’s with scoring and playing time and all that.’ So, I knew what it was going in from the jump and he told me: ‘Some games you might be the guy that we look for to go in there and make stuff happen and some games, it might not be that.’ And that’s exactly what it was but I just took my role with it and I always wanted to be on a playoff team; that’s what my main thing was — you know, early in my career I was on good teams but not good enough to make the playoffs so, I just wanted to go to somewhere new, somewhere different.”
After spending time with the Nuggets and then the New York Knicks, Mudiay took his talents to the Utah Jazz.
The Jazz have had legendary talent. Think Johns Stockton, think Karl Malone, Mark Eaton, Jeff Hornacek, “Pistol” Pete Maravich, Deron Williams and the late Jerry Sloan.
Where does Mudiay fit? “What’s funny is I always told myself the first time I’d ever been to Utah I was like, ‘I could never play here,'” he told the Heavy Live With Scoop B Show.
“Because of the city and I just was never used to it. I’d never been there.”
“When the opportunity came, it’s funny because that’s the first choice I made; I was like, I’m going to Utah. The team is good, the players were great and I got close with a lot of the guys and it was a fun group to be around. Mike [Conley] held it down for me for sure. Ed Davis, those were definitely my guys to make sure I stayed on track and stuff like that and even the whole team; Coach Q was great. Johnny Bryant was our assistant coach — shoutout to Johnny… I just learned a lot man, about the game and off the court as well and it helped me to become a better person and a better player at the same time. And on top of that, I went for what I got a chance to do which is witness the playoffs and win and that made it that much more fun.”
Mudiay signed a one-year deal with the Jazz, but they don’t have Bird rights for him. Instead, the Jazz can only sign him to 120% of last year’s minimum contract.
So now what?
“You know, like I said I’m open to it,” Mudiay told the Heavy Live With Scoop B Show.
“But I’m going to see what’s going on. Like I said, they taught me so much. 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 man, like I said before, the team was great and that’s definitely something that I’ll reconsider for sure.”