Emmanuel Mudiay was a consensus top-10 pick when the Nuggets selected him seventh overall in 2015. His rare combination of size and power for a 19-year-old vaulted him up team’s big boards as he settled in as the unanimous top point guard in the draft. Mudiay had skeptics, but he was a wanted commodity on draft night. Current ESPN draft analyst Mike Schmitz said at the time that Mudiay was “certain” to become a lockdown defender under Larry Brown at SMU (the point guard spent that season in China instead), and it was “only a matter of time” until he ironed out the kinks in his jump shot.
The Knicks were pegged by many mock drafts to select Mudiay fourth overall. ESPN’s chief draft analyst at the time Chad Ford ranked Mudiay as his fifth-best prospect in the draft. The Nuggets were thrilled when they landed what they thought was their franchise cornerstone seventh.