The Nets and Lakers are among the several teams reportedly interested in Shabazz Muhammad, as Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities hears (Twitter link). Timberwolves GM Milt Newton nonetheless has no intention of dealing the former 14th overall pick anytime soon, Wolfson adds, which jibes with Tuesday’s report from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, who wrote that the Wolves are unwilling to part with Muhammad despite the admiration he’s drawing from other front offices.
Brooklyn expects to be without Rondae Hollis-Jefferson for the next eight to 10 weeks, so it makes sense that the team would be looking at swingmen like Muhammad. Conflicting reports exist about whether the Nets have started gauging the interest that other teams have in trading for small forward Bojan Bogdanovic, a suggestion that Brooklyn was perhaps already anxious to make changes on the wing before the Hollis-Jefferson injury. GM Billy King told Sarah Kustok of the YES Network on Tuesday that the team would explore making roster moves but would give its current roster a chance “until we can find another option.”
Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak accepts at least partial culpability for his team’s slow start and has called for a greater emphasis on player development. Muhammad, 23, would fit the mold of a growing team, though the Timberwolves have the aim of building around a young nucleus themselves. The retiring Kobe Bryant has been the starting small forward for the Lakers this season.
Muhammad, the top prospect in the Recruiting Services Consensus Index when he came out of high school in 2012, is making nearly $2.057MM on his rookie scale contract this season and has one more season to go on the pact, but he can negotiate a rookie scale extension this summer. He’s off to a slow start this season, seeing fewer minutes than he did in 2014/15 and shooting just 25.8% from behind the arc, compared to 39.2% last year.
How much do you think these teams should be willing to offer to try to see if they can pry Muhammad from the Timberwolves? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.