Emmanuel Mudiay was supposed to be the player to turn SMU basketball in to a winner, instead he pulled out of that commitment to play his trade professionally overseas. What wasn’t known was where Mudiay would take his talents to.
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Reports indicated that Mudiay will be heading to China to play for the next year before entering the NBA Draft. He was the No. 1-ranked player in the class of 2014 by 247Sports and the No. 2-ranked player by the 247Sports composite rankings.
Yet, as the school year approached something changed, and Mudiay is off to get his money rather than wait it out another year. He cited the need to take care of his family as the mitigating factor in his sudden departure from the SMU program.
According to Adrian Wojnarnowski of Yahoo! Sports, Mudiay is heading to Guandong of the China Basketball League for a one-year, $1.2 million deal:
This isn’t a path a player hasn’t taken before, most famously done by Brandon Jennings. He played in Italy for one season before being drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks and now playing for the Detroit Pistons.
Back in 2008, Jennings signed with Lottomatica Roma in Italy for a year instead of playing at Arizona, earning over $1 million before becoming the No. 10 pick in 2009 draft by Milwaukee.
One of the biggest risks in playing professionally is having no safety net should one get injured. However, Mudiay will mitigate any injury issues with a substantial insurance policy as well, according to Wojnarnowski.
This season will probably be the most scrutinized season by any single American player playing basketball overseas, and Mudiay will need a good year to prove he’s worthy of a lottery pick in the upcoming 2015 NBA Draft.
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