FRIDAY, 11:40am: The Celtics aren’t interested in dealing for Muhammad before the deadline, one source told Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe.
THURSDAY, 9:29am: The Blazers, Suns and Celtics and other teams are “kicking the tires” on Shabazz Muhammad, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities (Twitter link). The Clippers remain fond of the 23-year-old swingman, Wolfson adds, having first identified the team’s interest in December, though it’s unclear if the Nets and Lakers, two more teams that apparently eyed him earlier this season, still do.
Minnesota was unwilling to trade Muhammad as of December, as Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports reported then, but whether the team has wavered from that stance isn’t known. The 14th overall pick from 2013 has suffered a regression this year, with his minutes down slightly and more significant declines in shooting percentage, shot attempts per game, scoring average and rebounding. He’s seen fewer minutes per game this season than fellow wing players Andrew Wiggins, Zach LaVine, Tayshaun Prince and trade candidate Kevin Martin.
Muhammad is making nearly $2.056MM in the third year of his rookie scale contract, with almost $3.047MM coming next season, the last on the deal. He’s eligible for a rookie scale extension this summer, but given his dearth of playing time, he seems unlikely to receive one.
The Suns would appear to provide the best opportunity for him to see more minutes if he’s traded to Phoenix, especially if P.J. Tucker is no longer there after next week’s trade deadline. The Clippers have been starting Luc Mbah a Moute at small forward, so perhaps an opportunity would exist there. The Celtics and Blazers seem relatively set on the wings.