Shabazz Muhammad Rumors
May 24 at 4:14pm CST By Zach Links
With the NBA Lottery in the rear view mirror, we're roughly one month away from the 2013 Draft. Here's the latest..
- Wolves president Flip Saunders is a big fan of Indiana's Victor Oladipo, league sources tell Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN, and the only way to nab him is to trade up from the No. 9 pick. Meanwhile, if Minnesota winds up keeping their pick, one league source predicts they will take UCLA's Shabazz Muhammad. Word has it that the Wolves like him but so do the Pistons, and they pick at No. 8.
- The Nets, who have the 22nd pick in the draft, are looking for a solid role player, writes Tim Bontemps of the New York Post. Despite the fact that this year’s draft class has been labeled as weak by many observers, the Nets believe they'll have a chance to draft a player who can help them off the bench. They'll likely be targeting players that can help them immediately since they have no cap room and their mini mid-level exception will be used on Bojan Bogdanovic.
- Kansas big man Jeff Withey worked out today for the Celtics, a source tells Adam Zagoria of SNY (on Twitter). Withey is ranked No. 3 amongst NCAA seniors by DraftExpress and is slated to go No. 22 in their latest mock draft. The Celtics could likely grab him with their No. 16 selection in the first round.
May 17 at 2:52pm CST By Luke Adams
2:52pm: Here are a few more updates out of Chicago:
- In a series of tweets, Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune lists a number of the prospects the Timberwolves have talked to or will talk to in Chicago. Among those we hadn't already heard about: Alex Len, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Tim Hardaway Jr., Ricky Ledo, Archie Goodwin, Reggie Bullock, and Vander Blue.
- The Trail Blazers will meet with Caldwell-Pope today, according to Jason Quick of the Oregonian (via Twitter). Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com adds (via Twitter) that the Blazers met with Ledo yesterday.
- Ryan Kelly has met with the Mavericks, Celtics, and Clippers, tweets Chris Mannix of SI.com.
- Dennis Schroeder will work out for the Bucks, Jazz, and Rockets, according to Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times (via Twitter).
- Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio tweets that there's some speculation at the combine that this could finally be the year the No. 1 pick is traded.
11:44am: It took us multiple posts yesterday to round up all the tidbits trickling out of Chicago, where the NBA is holding its draft combine this week. We'll see if today is as busy, but in the meantime, here are the latest updates on the 2013 draft:
- Some NBA executives believe that it's possible Shabazz Muhammad falls out of the top 10 and perhaps even the lottery on draft night, writes Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com.
- In an Insider-only piece, ESPN.com's Chad Ford passes along the official measurements on the players in Chicago, and provides a few thoughts on the results.
- Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News (Twitter link) hears from an NBA source that the Warriors believe they can acquire either a first- or second-round pick in this year's draft, if they so choose. Kawakami adds in a second tweet that a pick would mostly just cost money, but I'm skeptical that the Warriors could pick up a first-rounder without giving up anything of value, or that they'd even want to add a rookie-scale salary, given their proximity to the tax.
- Alex Len met with the Bobcats last night and will meet with the Cavaliers today, according to tweets from Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer and Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon-Journal. David Mayo of MLive.com tweets that Len has nothing set up with the Pistons and "wasn't too enthused" when asked about them -- perhaps that would change if Detroit jumped into the top three in next week's lottery.
- The Pistons will meet with Rudy Gobert today, tweets Keith Langlois of Pistons.com.
- Steven Adams interviewed with the Magic last night, according to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel (Twitter link). Chad Ford heard that Adams was the big winner on the first day of the combine, with "GM after GM" impressed by his showing.
- Kelly Olynyk has met with the Bucks, tweets Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times.
- Myck Kabongo met with the Knicks and Trail Blazers earlier in the week, says Doug Smith of the Toronto Star. Mason Plumlee also expects to meet with the Blazers, tweets Jason Quick of the Oregonian.
May 16 at 9:03pm CST By Luke Adams
9:03pm: We'll post any remaining evening updates from Chicago here:
- Hoopsworld's Alex Kennedy tweets that international prospect Mouhammadou Jaiteh will forego Eurocamp and will work out for NBA teams instead, possibly as early as a group workout with Minnesota.
- The Oregonian's Jason Quick reports that the Trail Blazers met with James Southerland yesterday.
2:47pm: More afternoon combine updates from Chicago:
- Ben McLemore has already interviewed with the Cavaliers, Timberwolves, and Pelicans, according to SI.com's Chris Mannix (via Twitter). McLemore expects to meet with the Bobcats, Magic, and Pistons tonight, according to various reports (all Twitter links).
- Victor Oladipo will also meet with the Pistons tonight, tweets Keith Langlois of Pistons.com.
- Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune (via Twitter) adds Otto Porter to the list of prospects interviewed by the Timberwolves, but says the T-Wolves won't get a chance to meet with Oladipo, who was on the team's wish list.
- Jamaal Franklin tells Jason Quick of the Oregonian that when he met with the Trail Blazers yesterday, the whole meeting consisted of a psychological test (Twitter link).
- Andre Roberson met with the Magic yesterday, according to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel (via Twitter).
- Shams Charania of RealGM.com has a list of the 12 prospects the Bulls plan to work out on Monday (Twitter link).
- Jeff Withey is "extremely excited" to be meeting with the Sixers, writes Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
1:35pm: We covered the Thursday morning updates from Chicago's predraft camp earlier today, but with so many tidbits surfacing throughout the day, we're starting an afternoon post to round up the latest notes:
- ESPN.com's Chad Ford hears that two international prospects have received first-round guarantees: Dennis Schroeder and Giannis Antetokounmpo (Twitter link).
- Michael Carter-Williams has met with several teams, including the Trail Blazers, Bobcats, Pistons, Timberwolves, and Thunder, according to various reports (all links go to Twitter). Carter-Williams is hearing he could be drafted anywhere between third and 15th overall, tweets Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com.
- We heard this morning that the Celtics had spoken to Cody Zeller and Glen Rice Jr. Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe adds a few more names to the list of Boston interviewees (via Twitter): Mason Plumlee, Rudy Gobert, and Victor Oladipo.
- C.J. McCollum won't meet with the Trail Blazers this week, according to Jason Quick of the Oregonian (Twitter link). However, he will meet with the Pistons tomorrow, according to Keith Langlois of Pistons.com (via Twitter), and has already interviewed with the Magic, according to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel (via Twitter). SI.com's Chris Mannix (Twitter link) adds the Thunder, Nuggets, and Cavaliers to the list of teams who have spoekn to McCollum, who has 15 total interviews scheduled.
- Robbins notes in a separate tweet that the Magic also met with Myck Kabongo.
- Isaiah Canaan will meet with the Wizards on Friday, tweets J. Michael of CSNWashington.com.
- Canaan, Andre Roberson, and Grant Jerrett all met with the Pistons last night, tweets Langlois.
- Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports (via Twitter) that the Bucks met with Shane Larkin yesterday and will work him out later this month.
- Erik Murphy has interviews lined up with the Grizzlies, Clippers, and possibly the Pacers, tweets Robbins.
- Seth Curry will meet today with the Lakers, Rockets, and Knicks, tweets Bonnell.
May 16 at 8:23pm CST By Ryan Raroque
Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld (via Twitter) hears that David Stern was an active participant in yesterday's vote over Sacramento/Seattle at the Board of Governors meeting. It's worth noting that despite an offer north of $625MM as well as the $115MM relocation fee that would have been included by the Seattle group, Stern was able to sway the vote in Sacramento's direction, even though it appeared that more owners were in favor of Seattle's offer (All Twitter links). Here are a few more miscellaneous tidbits from around the Association tonight:
- Ken Berger of CBS Sports tweets that the 76ers are expected to interview lead assistant coach Michael Curry for their head coaching job next week.
- Steve Bulpett of BostonHerald.com hears that Celtics assistant GM Mike Zarren turned down Philadelphia's offer to make him their general manager before the Sixers turned to Sam Hinkie.
- Although potential number one pick Nerlens Noel wouldn't be ready to start the regular season of his rookie campaign, the highly touted draft prospect is targeting a debut around Christmas, writes Jason Lloyd of Ohio.com.
- Noel's injury is just one reason why teams might not be too high in landing the number one draft slot this year, writes Lloyd. In that same piece, Lloyd cites one league executive who thinks that a team might be better off drafting whoever falls to the third or fourth pick rather than handle the risk of drafting first overall.
- Georgetown's Otto Porter spoke glowingly about being a potential fit for the Cavaliers, writes Mary Schmitt Boyer of The Plain Dealer.
- Shabazz Muhammad opened up about the controversy surrounding his listed age and briefly told David Mayo of MLive.com about how he'd fare with the Pistons if they drafted him.
- Warriors majority owner Joe Lacob says that he won't have a problem finding a replacement for Vivek Ranadive's current share with Golden State once the Sacramento situation is resolved, says Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News (via Twitter).
- Jerry Stackhouse is in Chicago and plans to meet with possible draftees tomorrow to brief them on the NBPA, tweeted Hoopsworld's Steve Kyler.
May 16 at 11:56am CST By Luke Adams
11:56am: More A.M. updates out of Chicago:
- Nerlens Noel told reporters that he hasn't completed any interviews so far, but that he's "pretty sure" he has one scheduled with the Magic. He's not quite so sure about the Cavaliers (Twitter links).
- Steven Adams and Kelly Olynyk are among the prospects that have met with the Wizards so far and think they'd fit in well in Washington (Twitter links). Mason Plumlee is also on the Wizards' list, tweets J. Michael of CSNWashington.com.
- Olynyk has met with the Bobcats as well, says Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer (Twitter link).
- Gorgui Dieng will work out for the Bucks, who will also interview Rudy Gobert and Plumlee, according to Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times (Twitter links).
- A couple notes from SI.com's Chriss Mannix (via Twitter): Cody Zeller has spoken to the Raptors, Trail Blazers, Rockets, and Celtics, while Mike Muscala only has interviews lined up with the Spurs and Hawks, but will do "nine or 10" workouts later. One of those workouts will be with the Blazers, tweets Jason Quick of the Oregonian.
- Shabazz Muhammad and Deshaun Thomas interviewed with the Timberwolves last night, writes Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune.
11:09am: With a number of reporters in attendance at the NBA's predraft camp in Chicago, we're expecting plenty of noteworthy tidbits to trickle in throughout the day. Here's a round-up of the first batch of updates on 2013's draft combine participants:
- According to Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal (Twitter link), the Cavaliers aren't on Otto Porter's list of teams he's meeting with this week. That's a bit of a surprise, given the rumblings that he's high on the team's big board, though as Mary Schmitt Boyer of the Plain Dealer tweets, the Cavs drafted a pair of players they didn't interview last year.
- Porter is scheduled to meet with the Wizards, who spoke to Victor Oladipo earlier this week, tweets Michael Lee of the Washington Post. Porter will meet with the Pistons as well, tweets Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press. The Bobcats, Thunder, and Suns have already met with Porter, according to Lee (via Twitter).
- The Pistons are also prepared to meet with Shabazz Muhammad today, according to Keith Langlois of Pistons.com (Twitter link). Muhammad interviewed with the Trail Blazers yesterday and felt it went very well, tweets Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com.
- Nate Wolters and Adonis Thomas were among the prospects who have met with the Lakers so far, says Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld (via Twitter).
- Glen Rice Jr., who played in the D-League this past season, has been interviewed by the Bucks, Celtics, Warriors, Sixers, and Spurs, he confirmed to reporters (all Twitter links).
May 15 at 1:05pm CST By Luke Adams
With so many likely first-round prospects suffering from injuries or simply not wanting to hurt their draft stocks (if they're already surefire lottery picks), don't expect too many big names to get on the court at this week's predraft camp in Chicago, writes Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com. Most of this week's participants will be potential late-first or second-round picks, fighting to move up in the draft. Nonetheless, Goodman identifies seven guys worth keeping an eye on, led by Frenchman Rudy Gobert.
Here's more on the Chicago combine and the 2013 NBA draft:
- HoopsWorld has released the third installment of its consensus mock draft, with four writers contributing their projections for the first round.
- Also receiving updates today: Chad Ford's top 30 at ESPN.com (Insider-only link) and Chris Mannix's big board at SI.com. Ford's list includes the latest rumblings about who will and won't be participating in drills in Chicago this week.
- Ford also shares observations (Insider link) on a number of players he saw yesterday at the Fitness Formula Club, including Mason Plumlee and Tim Hardaway Jr.
- In one final non-Insider Ford link, the ESPN.com scribe answers readers' draft questions in an hour-long chat.
- Shabazz Muhammad is expected to choose Bill Duffy of BDA Sports Management for his representation, according to Goodman (Twitter link). Goodman adds that the decision is surprising, considering Wasserman Media Group was the favorite for Muhammad.
April 16 at 11:04am CST By Luke Adams
UCLA freshman Shabazz Muhammad has elected to forgo his remaining years of collegiate eligibility and enter the NBA draft, the school announced today in a press release.
"I am so thankful for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play at UCLA
and will always be proud to be a Bruin," Muhammad said in a statement. "From a young
age, I have dreamed of playing in the NBA, and I believe that this is
the right time for me to move to the next level."
Muhammad was once viewed as a potential candidate for the first overall pick this year, but his stock took a bit of a hit last month when the Los Angeles Times revealed that the Bruin was actually 20 years old, rather than 19. He also had a bit of an up-and-down freshman season at UCLA, though his overall averages of 17.9 PPG and 5.2 RPG were solid.
ESPN.com's Chad Ford and Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com each still have Muhammad ranked ninth overall among draft prospects, making the 6'6" forward a very good bet to be a lottery pick in June. Our Zach Links profiled Muhammad as a prospect earlier this month.
April 13 at 12:35pm CST By Zach Links
Here's this afternoon's look around the Association..
- As it stands now, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel sees the Heat using the amnesty clause on Mike Miller. While the vet is a great locker room influence, it doesn't make sense for Miami to carry his contract. There's also the possibility that Miami finds a trade for Miller, but that could prove difficult.
- The Bucks never made Ray Allen an offer to return when he was a free agent over the summer, writes Gery Woelfel of the Journal Times. “I considered Memphis and Minnesota. That’s the plate I was looking at. Those were the teams that were offering me to go play for them," the guard said.
- More from Woelfel, who writes that two NBA executives who once considered UCLA swingman Shabazz Muhammad a legitimate top-three draft pick now have him outside their top ten. It's possible that the news that the Bruins star is actually 20 as opposed to 19 has hurt his stock.
- Dwight Howard and Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni are divided on the club's offensive philosophy, writes Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com.
April 6 at 8:55am CST By Zach Links
It's been a strange month for UCLA's Shabazz Muhammad, a player who is universally regarded as one of the top talents in the 2013 draft. In a matter of weeks, Muhammad's team was bounced from the first-round of the NCAA tournament, his coach was sent packing, and he aged a year well in advance of his birthday.
In case you missed it, it turns out that the freshman is actually 20-years-old, not 19 as previously believed. The story is bizarre and interesting for a lot of non-basketball reasons, but the headline is that the small forward figures to be less attractive to a lot of lottery teams. Dominating as a freshman is impressive, but less so when you're one (and sometimes, two) years older than your classmates. There's also the matter of potential dishonesty when it comes to Muhammad. The youngster's father appeared to be the puppet master behind the idea of fudging his birthdate, but NBA evaluators will surely probe further into that matter and try to find out why he was complicit in the plan. But make no mistake about it, Muhammad's situation isn't on the level of, say, Manti Te'o, and the coverup probably won't sink him on the draft board.
Getting back to basketball, Muhammad is a scoring machine who has a knack for finishing plays from uncomfortable spots on the floor. Muhammad has a great spot-up jumper and keeps defenders on honest with his ability to slash to the basket. He utilizes the mostly under-utilized floater and sonehow makes it on a regular basis. The forward isn't just zeroed in on scoring either; he goes to the glass and bangs with bigger defenders for the loose ball, and often finds a way to come away with it. He's also made strides with his outside shooting which was one of his main criticisms entering UCLA.
He gets hacked quite a bit when he slashes to the basket - which is great - but it would be nice if he could convert on more than 71% of his free throw attempts. His shot-selection is also questionable at times and can even be borderline frustrating. Muhammad has good basketball instincts on the whole, but if he plans to continue on forcing bad shots, then he won't get far at the next level. His defense has been up-and-down for the bulk of the year, but his wingspan should allow him to disrupt passing lanes and help get things going the other way. Muhammad won't come out of the gate and be an impact player as a rookie (few players in this class have a chance at that), but he can develop into a solid offensive option if he's groomed by the right team. The 19-year-old Muhammad had a shot at the top five, but the 20-year-old version probably figures to go around No. 10.
March 29 at 8:10pm CST By Alex Lee
With the second night of Sweet 16 games kicking off shortly, let's consolidate all news on soon-to-be NBA prospects here:
- It appears that Kyle Anderson plans to return to UCLA for his sophomore year next season, reports Adam Zagoria of SNY. Anderson's father sent out a text message to several media outlets to confirm that his soon will stay in school, quelling the fears of Bruins fans that were worried Anderson would bolt in the wake of Ben Howland's firing. Before news broke today, Jonathan Givony of Draft Express tweeted that he heard Anderson was "100% planning on declaring for the draft."
- In an Insider-only story, Kevin Pelton of ESPN gauges the draft stock of Anderson's teammate and fellow freshman at UCLA, Shabazz Muhammad. Pelton maintains a draft-related database that indicates a prospect's age is nearly as important a predictor of NBA success as anything else, which doesn't bode well for Muhammad. While he was only a freshman this year, the Los Angeles Times discovered last week that Muhammad is actually 20 years old, not 19 as was previously thought. Muhammad currently ranks seventh on the Draft Express Top 100 list. Pelton suggests that the news on Muhammad's age should bump him down from that spot, though it remains to be seen if that actually happens.
- Neither Cody Zeller nor Victor Oladipo said much last night regarding their future after their Hoosiers fell to Syracuse in the Sweet 16. Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star writes that most scouts think Oladipo's stock can't get much higher, and it is likely that the uber-athletic junior will declare for the draft because of it. Zeller is a different story, however. After entering the season projected as a top-3 pick, Zeller's lack of toughness and inability to dominate have scouts questioning his potential, Wells says. It seems like another year at Indiana might be the best bet for the 7-foot sophomore. Our Chuck Myron profiled Oladipo yesterday in our Prospect Profile series.
- After they held out Goran Dragic on Wednesday against the Jazz, it was only natural for questions about tanking to come up inside the Suns locker room. Paul Coro, reporting for USA Today, writes that Suns players have continued to play hard in part because many of them believe that this year's draft is lacking on impact players.
- According to an Eastern Conference talent evaluator, this year's draft class should not be classified as "weak", writes Michael Lee of the Washington Post. While there may be no sure-fire studs, this draft will likely turn out as many NBA starters or even NBA All-Stars as most. Lee says that many recent drafts have also received the "weak" label, only to produce a respectable crop of players. "And I think this draft is going to be no different," the talent evaluator said.