Posted June 27, 2013

Shabazz Muhammad selected No. 14 by Timberwolves in NBA draft

2013 NBA draft, Ben Golliver, Minnesota Timberwolves, Shabazz Muhammad
Shabazz Muhammad averaged 17.9 points at UCLA last season.

Shabazz Muhammad averaged 17.9 points at UCLA last season. (Porter Binks/SI)

The Timberwolves selected Shabazz Muhammad with the No. 14 pick in the NBA draft after acquiring the pick in a trade with the Jazz on Thursday. Here’s a look at Muhammad and how he fits with Minnesota:

Bio: UCLA | Freshman | Shooting Guard/Small Forward

Vitals: 6-6, 222 pounds

2012-13 Statistics: 17.9 points, 5.2 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.7 steals, 44.3 percent shooting in 32 games.

Strengths: No one questions Muhammad’s ability to score. As a freshman, he led the Bruins in scoring, ranking fourth overall in the Pac-12. He has great size and strength for a shooting guard, the position he envisions himself playing in the NBA.

Weaknesses: Muhammad needs to round out his game. He displayed little-to-no playmaking skills in his only year at UCLA, finishing with just 27 assists. Lacking elite quickness, Muhammad overpowered opponents in college, a skill unlikely to translate to the NBA. He also needs to become more consistent on the defensive end.

What Scouts Say: “He takes a lot of criticism for a guy who scored 18 a game as a freshman in the Pac-12. He was very forthright in his interview, didn’t shy away from answering any questions. What I want to know is, for a guy who is known to work out hard and train, and he has supposedly been trained by some of the best trainers on the West Coast, why the hell doesn’t he have a right hand? I think he’s gonna slide, I really do.”

Team Fit: The Timberwolves needed a 2-guard so desperately that they dragged Brandon Roy out of unofficial retirement last summer. Is Muhammad a 2 or a 3? That’s the million-dollar question, but Minnesota will surely try to make it work at the 2, as Muhammad’s pure scoring ability has the potential to plug a hole. They surely hope he can develop better range on his jumper. His defensive limitations will need to be worked around, but he’s a decent risk and back-up plan for new president Flip Saunders, who traded down out of the No. 9 pick once Kentavious Caldwell-Pope went to the Pistons at No. 8.

2 comments
marino.eccher
marino.eccher

"They surely hope he can develop better range on his jumper."

He shot 38 percent from 3 last year. That's a heck of a lot better than KCP or McCollum shot as freshmen.