Shabazz Muhammad will be a restricted free agent this offseason and Darren Wolfson of ESPN.com (podcast) hears that the Nets are a team to keep an eye on. Brooklyn has pursued several restricted free agents since Sean Marks took over GM duties, though the organization has been unsuccessful in its attempts. The team went after Donatas Motiejunas, Tyler Johnson, and Allen Crabbe only to see each player’s original team match Brooklyn’s offer sheet.
Minnesota likes Muhammad and would like to bring him back, Wolfson adds. The Wolves have approximately $75MM in guaranteed salary on the books next season, so they could ostensibly make the small-forward a lucrative offer. However, Zach LaVine, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Andrew Wiggins will all be lining up for new deals over the next few years, so the team may be best served to keep its future cap sheet clean and veer away from adding any substantial long-term money.
The UCLA product shot the ball nearly eight times per game last season and he made 48.2% of his attempts. He wasn’t efficient from behind the arc, making just 33.6% of his shots and he didn’t set up teammates for good looks with his passing very often. He had 35 dimes on the season, which includes a 15-game stretch between the end of December and the end of January where he registered just one assist. In fact, Muhammad had the fewest assists on a season in league history among all non-bigs who played at least 1500 minutes and used over 20% of his team’s possessions.
Muhammad made slightly over $3.0MM this season, though regardless of his score-first mentality, he should be in line for a raise on that figure with his next deal. He’ll turn 25 at the start of next season.