Emmanuel Mudiay calls the NBA 'a point guard's league'

Emmanuel Mudiay, a 19-year-old point guard, played 12 games in the Chinese pro league last season

One of the players the Lakers are still considering for their second overall pick in the NBA draft is 19-year-old point guard Emmanuel Mudiay.

Mudiay, who played last season in China, met with the Lakers on Saturday.  On Thursday, the 6-foot-5 athletic guard held a workout in front of the media in Reseda, with Impact Basketball.

The Lakers need to decide whether they want to go with a big man such as Duke's Jahlil Okafor or Kentucky's Karl-Anthony Towns.  The Minnesota Timberwolves, who hold the top selection on June 25, might take one of the centers off the board.  Another option for the Lakers would be going small with Ohio State guard D'Angelo Russell or Mudiay.

Mudiay's makes the case for going small over size.

"If you look at every team, they have a pretty good point guard. It's a point guard's league now," he said.

Thus far, the Lakers have worked out Okafor, Russell and Mudiay individually.  They haven't seen Towns in their gym.  On Friday, the team also got to see Latvian forward/center Kristaps Porzingis in a group setting, held in Las Vegas.

Russell is a better shooter than Mudiay, while Mudiay is clearly bigger, stronger and more athletic.  He also has experience playing with older players in China, although he made just 12 appearances because of a sprained ankle.

"You're playing with grown men.  They're trying to feed their families," said Mudiay of China.  "It's a professional league.  I feel like it's really going help me coming back here and going into the NBA."

The guard averaged 18.0 points and 5.9 assists, shooting 47.8% from the field and 34.2% from three-point range.

"I like to make other people better," said Mudiay. "You see what [Cleveland Cavaliers forward] LeBron [James is] doing right now, rebounding [and] assisting.

"If you can elevate everybody's play as a point guard, get everybody involved, and still be an asset for the team, I feel like that's what a point guard should do."

Mudiay went out to two dinners with the Lakers, separately with the front office and the coaching staff.

"They just want to know what kind of person you are," said Mudiay.  "It's only two hours ... You just be yourself." 

"They just want to win right now.  I'm the same way. I want to win," he continued.  "Coach [Byron] Scott he definitely helped me with a lot of things on the court and off the court he gave me some good advice."

What exactly Scott told him will remain between player and prospective coach.

"That's for me to know," said Mudiay.

While preparing for the draft, he continues to work on his games -- especially his shooting.

"The more you shoot, the more comfortable you are," he said.  "Watching [Golden State Warriors guard] Steph Curry, how he shoots, everybody wants to shoot like that.  That's like the level you want to get at.  I'm just going to keep working on it."

Mudiay said he is excited at the possibility of playing alongside Lakers All-Star guard Kobe Bryant.

"He's got five championships.  He's a winner. He's a proven winner," said Mudiay.  "His determination, I'm the same way.  If he steps on the court, he's going to feel like he's the best player. If I step on the court, I'm going to feel like I'm the best player.

"He has five championships. I want more than five championships."

Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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