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Shabazz Muhammad Traded to Minnesota Timberwolves: Scouting Report and Analysis

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 27:  Shabazz Muhammad #15 of the UCLA Bruins takes Carrick Felix #0 of the Arizona State Sun Devils off the dribble during a 79-74 UCLA win at Pauley Pavilion on February 27, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images
Daniel O'BrienFeatured ColumnistJune 28, 2013


With the No. 14 pick of the 2013 NBA draft, the Utah Jazz selected Shabazz Muhammad from UCLA and subsequently traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves

Here's everything you need to know about Muhammad:

 

Physical Tools

Here's how Bleacher Report NBA Draft Lead Writer Jonathan Wasserman breaks down Muhammad's physical attributes:

Muhammad measured just over 6'6'' in shoes at the combine, a number that has some scouts worried. The small forward position is evolving, with bigger and more athletic wings like Paul George setting the bar.

He did measure a 6'11'' wingspan, a big-time number for a 2 or 3. Despite a top-heavy body, Muhammad is light on his feet and moves extremely well around the court. He has the foot speed to face up or make sharp cuts off the ball.

He's not the most explosive athlete in the world, but he's got a relentless motor that helps maximize his physical tools. Muhammad's combination of power and finesse also makes him a scoring threat from every spot on the floor.

 

Getting to Know Shabazz Muhammad  

Muhammad was worshiped coming out of high school, so the downward draft stock throughout his freshman year was a humbling experience for him. He's conscious of his deficiencies, and you can tell he wants to prove that he can indeed be a star.

 

NBA Player Comparison

If he improves his physique, ball-handling and step-back jumper, Muhammad could be quite like All-Star James Harden.

His basement is C.J. Miles. Jonathan Wasserman explains that Miles is an athletic shooter but is "limited with the ball in his hands, which has had him in a complementary role for the first portion of his career."

 

Pro Predictions

Until he can improve his right-hand dribble and mid-drive decision-making, there's a limit to Muhammad's production as a young shooting guard or small forward.

Fortunately, he possesses the length and slashing ability to keep defenses on their heels, along with an above-average knack for perimeter scoring.

His role in the NBA will be largely dependent on his willingness to polish his right hand and become a more potent lateral shot-creator.

If he does this, and sculpts an ideal wing body, he'll thrive and make several teams regret not picking him.

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