Compared to fellow lottery prospects, UCLA product Shabazz Muhammad showed assertiveness and a killer instinct as well as a natural finishing ability at the rim in his lone season as a Bruin. Muhammad’s instincts, talent and ability to contribute have him pegged as one of the top small forwards coming in to the draft and as someone who can contribute on the offensive end right away.
Things the Draft Experts Like:
SI.com: Muhammad has electrifying offensive potential. He's raw – one Eastern Conference executive described him as a top-five pick going left and 15-20 going right – but Muhammad has the ability to develop into a Paul Pierce/Rudy Gay type scorer.
DraftExpress.com: “He gets most of his points leaking out in transition, moving off the ball, as a spot-up shooter, posting up relentlessly, crashing the offensive glass, and coming off short curls in the mid-range area where he's only forced to put the ball on the floor once or twice to get all the way to the basket. He gets to the free throw line nearly seven times per-40, which is a testament to his aggressiveness and scoring instincts more than anything, as well as his ability to overpower opposing players.”
Draft Expert Concerns:
ESPN Draft Analysis: “Needs to improve his jump shot off the dribble and develop his right hand. Muhammad is a bit undersized for his position, lacks elite athletic ability and can be a little one dimensional.”
NBADraft.Net: “Has trouble creating his own shot off of the dribble, shooting percentage plummets when he puts the ball on the floor. His lack of statistical defensive production made some question his focus and energy on that end of the court. Body language was a concern at certain points and made him appear at odds with teammates, even if that was not the case.”