Vipers Acquire Mustafa Shakur

Mustafa Shakur (Photo Credit: Dick Carlson/NBAE/Getty Images)

November 2, 2010

MCALLEN, TEXAS - The NBA Development League Champion Rio Grande Valley Vipers announced Tuesday that they have acquired point guard Mustafa Shakur (6-4, 195, Arizona) from the Tulsa 66ers for guard/forward Robert Vaden (6-5, 215, UAB), who the Vipers drafted seventh overall in the first round of the NBA Development League Draft on Monday.

A 2010 Western Conference All-Star and All-NBA Development League Second Team selection, Shakur averaged 19.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, 6.9 assists and 2.2 steals in 47 games (all starts) for the 66ers last season. He shot 48.9% from the field and 38.2% from behind the arc. Shakur earned a GATORADE Call-Up to the Oklahoma City Thunder on March 16, signing a 10-day contract. Shakur was re-acquired by the 66ers at the end of the contract, but earned a second GATORADE Call-Up the Thunder on March 31 and was immediately assigned to the 66ers. Shakur played for the 66ers in the first round of playoffs, after which he was recalled. Shakur was the re-assigned for the game one of the semifinals before getting recalled for good. In four playoff games, Shakur averaged 16 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.0 steals per game.

The 26-year old has had three stints with NBA teams during the pre-season, playing for the Sacramento Kings in 2007, the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2009 and the New Orleans Hornets this year. Shakur played for the Thunder during the 2010 NBA Summer League in Orlando, averaging 10.2 points, 2.0 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.2 steals in five games (two starts).

“Mustafa Shakur has been a long time Houston Rockets personnel target as a true point guard with the ability to run a team, defend and score. His acquisition by the Vipers provides the team with one of the top point guards in the NBA Development League and makes him a key part of our team for this upcoming season. The move is very similar to last season's pick up of Will Conroy, where we added a high level talent, which will benefit both the Vipers in their title defense and the Rockets by providing the opportunity to fully evaluate a valued prospect at the point guard position. We think Shakur will flourish under the tutelage of [Vipers head coach] Chris Finch and his staff. We hope to play a key role in Shakur’s development into a full-time NBA player,” Vipers General Manager Gersson Rosas, who is also the Rockets Vice President of Player Personnel, said.

Single game tickets are on sale now. They start $7 and can be purchased by calling the Vipers at 972-1144, online through Ticketmaster by clicking here, at the Vipers Pro-Shop, at the State Farm Arena box office, or at any Ticketmaster outlet. A full list of Ticketmaster outlets can be found here.

The Rio Grande Valley Vipers are the NBA Development League affiliate of the NBA Houston Rockets. The NBA Development League, founded in 2001, is the NBA’s official minor league whose teams have direct affiliations to NBA franchises. For the 2010-11 season, the league will feature 16 teams – including the debut of the Texas Legends. A proven developer of talent, 20 percent of players in the NBA at the conclusion of the 2009-10 season boasted NBA D-League experience, while the league continues to develop coaches, referees, and front-office staff for the NBA and its teams. In fostering the league’s connection to the community, its teams, players and staff promote health and wellness, support local needs and interests, and assist in educational development through NBA D-League Cares programs. The NBA D-League also advances the game of basketball as the research and development arm of the NBA. Throughout the league’s 10th season, which tips off Thursday, Nov. 18, fans can watch all NBA D-League games on NBA Futurecast, the free live Web-streaming initiative found at nba.com/futurecast.