An ankle injury could lead to the end of guard Emmanuel Mudiay's season in China with the Guangdong Southern Tigers, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reports.
The 18-year-old Mudiay has missed the team's last four games with an ankle injury. He opted to play professionally after failing to qualify academically for college and signed a $1.2 million contract in China. He also signed an endorsement contract with Under Armour.
Wojnarowski reports the team has signed former NBA guard Will Bynum to at least temporarily replace Mudiay. The Tigers were granted an injury exception to sign Bynum as Chinese teams are only allowed to have two American players on their rosters. Former Texas A&M CC player Chris Daniels is the other American on the roster.
Since the team gave Bynum a contract worth more than $1 million, it is possible Mudiay could be released, according to Wojnarowski.
Mudiay is expected to be a top pick in the 2015 NBA draft and he would still be paid the remainder of his salary if he is released. From Wojnarowski:
Mudiay has to protect his draft value, and his representatives will be exceedingly careful to make sure he doesn't risk further injury or poor performance in China. If released, Mudiay could simply return to the United States and train in preparation to begin predraft workouts with NBA teams prior to the June draft.
- Paul Palladino