Minnesota Timberwolves 2013 NBA Draft Player Profile - Shabazz Muhammad
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Article

Shabazz Muhammad

Shabazz Muhammad

UCLA
Year: Freshman
Position: Guard/Forward
Height: 6-foot-6
Weight: 225 lbs.
Editor’s Note: Throughout the month of June, Timberwolves.com will profile a series of prospects that could be available at Minnesota’s No. 9 or 26 picks, or if they choose to move up during the 2013 NBA Draft on June 27. Part IX highlights UCLA guard/forward Shabazz Muhammad, a talented scorer who is trying to showcase a team-first mentality during the Draft process.



Mark Remme
Wolves Editor/Writer

Email / Twitter

Mock Draft Projections: 1st round, picks 8 to 16

2012-13 Season: 17.9 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 0.8 APG, 0.7 SPG, .443 FG%, .377 3FG%, .711 FT%

Based on ability alone, UCLA guard/forward Shabazz Muhammad could be a pretty significant grab in this year’s NBA Draft. He’s got good perimeter size, can score due to an impressive stroke with his jumper as well as his athleticism getting to the rim, and he has a competitive nature on the court that is becoming in NBA prospects.

But Muhammad continues to battle critics who question his willingness to play team-first basketball, causing him to campaign throughout this NBA Draft process about his commitment to team play. He’s saying all the right things during the process, and during his trip to Minnesota on Sunday he was incredibly complimentary of the Wolves’ organization, coach Rick Adelman and cornerstone players Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio. Muhammad said he’s worked out a bit with Love given the pair’s shared UCLA ties, and he appreciates what he brings to a team.

“It’s great to have great team chemistry,” Muhammad said. “Kevin’s a great guy, very humble. I think he’s going to be a great asset this year. Same with Ricky, coming off those injuries. Like I said, putting myself into that offense I could be a scoring threat right way, I think.”


Muhammad said he wouldn’t need to be a focal point of the offense, because with Love and others who can score, his points would come. He said during his trip to Minnesota he’s just hoping to be an unselfish player who can help a team achieve success through his work ethic and style of play.

Wolves President of Basketball Operations Flip Saunders said in asking about Muhammad he’s heard good things—particularly from former Bruins coach Ben Howland. He said Muhammad has good instincts, is a gym rat, loves to play and works on his game all the time.

“He’s a natural scorer,” Saunders said. “He’s going to find a way to score. He’s going to find a way to get 14-15 points. That’s just what he does. It might not be the prettiest way he does it, but he’ll find a way. That’s a given talent.”

STRENGTHS

Muhammad is an excellent talent offensively—a guy who can score in different ways and in different situations. He can get out in transition and score with authority, but he is also a guy who can get to the rim or hit from the outside. He can drain jumpers in catch-and-shoot situations, and he shot 37.7 percent from 3-point range in his lone season at UCLA. On the offensive boards, Muhammad is aggressive and brings a dynamic that can give his team extended possessions. Because he’s aggressive, he often gets himself to the free-throw line. He shot 5.6 free throws per game as a freshman with the Bruins, and he hit 71.1 percent of those attempts. Inside, when he’s in the paint up against smaller defenders, he has the ability and strength to fight his way to the rim.

WEAKNESSES

The biggest question mark surrounding Muhammad is his commitment to the team. His critics often suggest he can be selfish on the court, and the numbers show he doesn’t always create for his teammates in offensive sets. There is also the well-documented video of Muhammad leaving the court without congratulating his teammate, Larry Drew II, after just hitting the game-winner against Washington in February. He’s a lefty who doesn’t go to his right hand as often off the dribble or finishing at the rim. Defensively, Saunders said he’s likely a 3 at the NBA level because his lateral quickness might not match up with the majority of 2-guards at the NBA level.

THEY SAID IT

“I’m a guy that wants to work hard. I want to play. Off the court, I’m a nice guy. On the court, I want to play. I’m a guy who wants to win. That’s what it takes to be the best. I’m not just looking to get drafted, I’m looking for my team to be a playoff team, to be an All-Star. That’s something I always try to look for and setting goals to reach out to.” — UCLA G/F Shabazz Muhammad

WHAT HE CAN BRING TO THE WOLVES

There’s no question Muhammad has the ability to be an offensive threat. He’s got a sweet stroke with his jumper, and he has the athletic ability to score at the rim or hit from outside. He does have a 6-foot-6 frame, so he’d add the perimeter length the team is looking for. But does Muhammad truly fit the Wolves’ plans? Saunders believes Muhammad is a 3 defensively, and at this juncture the Wolves are looking for more of a 2-guard. And regardless of Muhammad being vocal about his commitment to team play, detractors will still claim he can at times be selfish on the court. Given Rick Adelman’s style of play, that type of mentality wouldn’t fit here in Minnesota.

Minnesota Timberwolves All-Time Draft Picks

Year
Player
Pos.
School
Rd / Pick
Ht / Wt
Class
2012
Robbie Hummel
F
Purdue
2 / 58
6'8" / 215
Sr
2011
Derrick Williams
F
Arizona
1 / 2
6'8" / 248
So

Donatas Motiejunas
F/C
Italy
1 / 20
7'0" / 222
Int'l
2010
Wesley Johnson
G/F
Syracuse
1 / 4
6'7" / 215
Jr
Luke Babbitt
F
Nevada
1 / 16
6'9" / 225
So
Trevor Booker
F
Clemson
1 / 23
6'8" / 240
Sr
Paulo Prestes
C
Brazil
2 / 45
6'11" / 260
Int'l
Hamady Ndiaye
C
Rutgers
2 / 56
7'0" / 235
Sr
2009
Ricky Rubio
G
Spain
1 / 5
6'4" / 180
Int'l

Jonny Flynn
G
Syracuse
1 / 6
6'0" / 185
So

Ty Lawson
G
North Carolina
1 / 18
5'11" / 195
Jr

Wayne Ellington
G
North Carolina
1 / 28
6'4" / 200
Jr

Nick Calathes
G
Florida
2 / 45
6'6" / 194
So

Henk Norel
F
Netherlands
2 / 47
6'10" / 230
Int'l
2008
OJ Mayo
G
USC
1 / 3
6'4" / 200
Fr
Nikola Pekovic
C
Montenegro
2 / 31
6'11" / 265
Int
Mario Chalmers
G
Kansas
2 / 34
6'1" / 190
Jr
2007
Corey Brewer
F
Florida
1 / 7
6'9" / 185
Jr

Chris Richard
F
Florida
2 / 41
6'9" / 255
Sr
2006
Brandon Roy
G
Washington
1 / 6
6'6" / 215
Sr

Craig Smith
F
Boston College
2 / 36
6'7" / 250
Sr

Bobby Jones
F
Washington
2 / 37
6'7" / 215
Sr

Loukas Mavrokefalidis
F
Greece
2 / 57
6'11" / 260
Int'l
2005
Rashad McCants
G
North Carolina
1 / 14
6'4" / 207
Jr

Bracey Wright
G
Indiana
2 / 47
6'3" / 210
Jr
2004
Blake Stepp
G
Gonzaga
2 / 58
6'4" / 194
Sr
2003
Ndudi Ebi
F
Westbury Christian H.S.
1 / 26
6'9" / 195
HS

Rick Rickert
F
Minnesota
2 / 55
6'11" / 215
So
2002
Marcus Taylor
G
Michigan State
2 / 52
6'3" / 195
So
2001
Loren Woods
C
Arizona
2 / 46
7'1" / 245
Sr
2000
Igor Rakocevic
G
Yugoslavia
2 / 51
6'2" / 184
Int
1999
Wally Szczerbiak
F
Miami (Ohio)
1 / 6
6'7" / 244
Sr

William Avery
G
Duke
1 / 14
6'2" / 180
So

Louis Bullock
G
Michigan
2 / 42
6'2" / 180
Sr
1998
Rasho Nesterovic
C
Slovenia
1 / 17
7'0" / 248
Int

Andrae Patterson
F
Indiana
2 / 46
6'9" / 240
Sr
1997
Paul Grant
C
Wisconsin
1 / 20
7'0" / 245
Sr

Gordon Malone
F
West Virginia
2 / 44
6'11" / 215
Jr
1996
Ray Allen
G
Connecticut
1 / 5
6'5" / 205
Jr
1995
Kevin Garnett
F
Farragut Academy H.S.
1 / 5
6'11" / 220
HS

Mark Davis
F
Texas Tech
2 / 48
6'7" / 210
Sr

Jerome Allen
G
Pennsylvania
2 / 49
6'4" / 184
Sr
1994
Donyell Marshall
F
Connecticut
1 / 4
6'9" / 220
Jr

Howard Eisley
G
Boston College
2 / 30
6'3" / 180
Sr
1993
Isaiah Rider
G
UNLV
1 / 5
6'5" / 215
Sr

Sherron Mills
F
Virginia Commonwealth
2 / 29
6'9"
Sr
1992
Christian Laettner
F
Duke
1 / 3
6'11" / 235
Sr

Marlon Maxey
F
UTEP
2 / 28
6'8" / 250
Sr

Chris Smith
G
Connecticut
2 / 34
6'3" / 191
Sr

Tim Burroughs
F
Jacksonville
2 / 51
6'8"
Sr
1991
Luc Longley
C
New Mexico
1 / 7
7'2" / 265
Sr/Int

Myron Brown
G
Slippery Rock
2 / 34
6'3" / 180
Sr
1990
Felton Spencer
C
Louisville
1 / 6
7'0" / 265
Sr

Gerald Glass
G
Mississippi
1 / 20
6'6" / 221
Sr
1989
Pooh Richardson
G
UCLA
1 / 10
6'1" / 186
Sr

Gary Leonard
C
Missouri
2 / 34
7'1" / 246
Sr

Doug West
G
Villanova
2 / 38
6'6" / 200
Sr

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