The New York Knicks have acquired guard Emmanuel Mudiay from the Denver Nuggets in a three-team trade alongside the Dallas Mavericks. In return, the Knicks sent Doug McDermott to the Mavericks while the Nuggets nab Devin Harris from Dallas. The Nuggets and Knicks also swapped second-round picks, as first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Mudiay was the seventh-overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft and was expected to be the point guard of the future in Denver. However, development issues saw him lose the starting job to Jamal Murray as he hasn’t started a single game at the position this season.
Over his first three seasons, Mudiay has averaged 11.1 points and 4.3 assists, but his inability to consistently score spoiled the high expectations that came around him. Only Stanley Johnson and Marcus Smart have played as many minutes as Mudiay this year and have shot worse than his 37.5 percent from the field.
A change of scenery could be beneficial for the 21-year-old, though he will be entering a pressure-packed market like New York.
On top of that, the Knicks already have a point guard of the future in rookie Frank Ntilikina, who was selected eighth overall back in June. Granted, his selection was one of the final actions of the Phil Jackson regime and the actions of this deal by new management could be an indicator that they don’t believe in Ntilikina.
Ideally, these two could share the floor if the Knicks are looking to run a smaller lineup. But neither Mudiay or Ntilikina hold the scoring prowess necessary for one of them to shift to the shooting guard role. Now with two young players who don’t possess much depth-chart mobility and need a lot of work at the NBA level, this deal could actually hurt the futures of both Mudiay and Ntilikina.
It remains to be seen what role Mudiay would even take at the point guard position as the Knicks already have Jarrett Jack and Trey Burke ahead of Ntilikina on the depth chart.
In the process, the Knicks lost their main backup at the small forward position in McDermott, who provided 7.2 points and a nearly 39-percent mark from three-point range. But after the injury of Porzingis, the Knicks’ firesale looks to be on.
It just depends on if they’ll run out of time or not considering the trade deadline comes at 3 p.m. ET.