Shabazz Muhammad is being set free by the Minnesota Timberwolves, according to a report.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Thursday evening that Muhammad and Minnesota have reached agreement on a buyout.
Shabazz Muhammad has agreed to a contract buyout with Minnesota in hopes of signing with a playoff contender, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 2, 2018
Muhammad, who had averaged around 20 minutes per game the past two seasons with the Timberwolves, has barely played since late November. That led him to request a trade last month.
What’s interesting about the timing of Woj’s report is it comes the same day Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau said Muhammad would not be receiving a buyout.
Asked about possibility of a Bazz buyout to get him to a team where he could play more, Thibs said, "Nope, we like the team we have."
— Jerry Zgoda (@JerryZgoda) February 28, 2018
For his career, the 25-year-old has averaged nine points per game on 47 percent shooting.
The NBA trade deadline has passed, but we are far from the end of the player movement. It has become normal that a robust buyout market emerges after the deadline, as players who weren’t moved — or were moved to match salaries — are set free to sign with contenders for the minimum. These buyout players are valuable weapons for cap-limited teams in need of more depth.
Who will end up on the buyout market this year? Here are ten potential candidates of varying likelihood.
1) Derrick Rose, Jazz
Derrick Rose was sent to Utah as part of a three-way trade the Cavs made on deadline day. Reports have said he is likely to seek a buyout and receive one from the Jazz. If that happens, the Minnesota Timberwolves have been mentioned as a potential landing spot. He has great familiarity with his former coach Tom Thibodeau and ex-teammate Jimmy Butler, and is said to have interest in a reunion.
2) Joe Johnson, Kings
Less than a year after agreeing to re-sign with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Shabazz Muhammad wants out.
Muhammad has fallen out of the Timberwolves’ rotation, having played in just 31 games this season. Subsequently, he has privately requested to be moved or waived by the trade deadline, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
When Muhammad rejoined the Timberwolves last September, he had expected a fairly significant role on the team’s bench. Instead, he has averaged less than ten minutes per game and has not played much at all.
Muhammad has a player option for next season, but he obviously isn’t going to exercise that at this point.
Interestingly, Muhammad was reportedly shopped by the Timberwolves a year ago. You have to wonder how much he was ever in Tom Thibodeau’s plans.
Minnesota Timberwolves small forward Shabazz Muhammad is making the switch from two syllables to just one.
Muhammad revealed over the weekend that he is planning to legally change his first name to just “Bazz.”
“I just like it,” said the former UCLA star, per Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune. “Everybody calls me that anyway.”
Muhammad, who is averaging just 4.0 points and 1.8 rebounds per game so far in his fifth season with the Timberwolves, already goes by “Bazz” on some of his social media accounts. Yes, it might not be as iconic of a name change as this fellow 24-year-old NBAer, but at least there won’t be any more confusion between Muhammad and Portland Trail Blazers guard Shabazz Napier.
Image via Shabazz Muhammad on Instagram
Minnesota Timberwolves rookie Shabazz Muhammad was looking to work on developing his game at the NBA’s Rookie Transition Program this week as he nears the start of his first NBA season. USA Today Sports is reporting that Muhammad will have to wait until 2014 to complete the program, as he has been sent home for violating a rule.
A person who spoke under the condition of anonymity told USA Today that Muhammad brought a female guest into his hotel room on Tuesday evening. Just hours prior to being kicked out, he and nearly 50 other rookies had been read a list of rules for the program. One of the rules stated that players are not allowed to have guests unless they are approved by program administrators.
The Rookie Transition Program is a four-day course that introduces rookies to life in the NBA with customized seminars and guest speakers. It ends on Friday. The Timberwolves can’t be pleased with Muhammad, as he will be missing out on valuable information that he will have to wait until next year to gather.
Mario Chalmers and Darrell Arthur were sent home from the program in 2008 after administrators smelled marijuana and discovered women in their hotel room. They were fined $20,000 each, and Muhammad is also expected to have to pay a fine for his failure to complete the program.
Shabazz Muhammad was exposed Friday for having lied about his age to appear younger and thus more desirable as an NBA prospect. Muhammad was born on Nov. 13, 1992, but his birthday in UCLA’s media guide listed him as born in 1993. That makes him 20 and not 19 as has been stated.
When Muhammad was introduced by TruTV Friday during UCLA’s NCAA Tournament game against Minnesota, a graphic listed his age as 20 and included an asterisk to note the controversy.
The story of Muhammad’s true age was revealed in a Los Angeles Times column written by Ken Bensinger. In the column published Friday, Bensinger exposes Muhammad’s father, Ron Holmes, as a man intent on beating a system that is rigged against collegiate athletes. According to Bensinger, Holmes, when faced with the information, denied that his son was really 20 years old and born in Long Beach, Calif., and said Shabazz was 19 and born in Nevada. Holmes changed his story — presumably after being presented with evidence to the contrary — and then reportedly tried to buy out Bensinger by seemingly offering to give him exclusive scoops in exchange for keeping the truth about his son’s age private.
Changing his son’s age served a two-fold purpose: It allowed Muhammad to compete against younger, less developed players, which made it easier for him to look more dominant and therefore become more desirable to colleges. Being young and dominant is also attractive to NBA scouts evaluating prospects. The revelation about Muhammad’s age changes the thinking; would he have been as dominant had he been playing against competition his age?
Muhammad was initially suspended by the NCAA before the season began for allegedly receiving improper benefits in the form of recruiting trips being paid. He got off after a letter leaked that made it seem like the NCAA was unfairly targeting him, but there wasn’t much of a question about him taking the money.
If you read the entire column, and combine it with what we know about Muhammad from before the season began, it’s hard to question how much his family took in improper benefits.
Holmes says his son choosing to play at UCLA “was strictly a business decision.”
If you read between the lines, it’s not difficult to understand what he means. As the Times column states, Adidas began sponsoring Muhammad’s AAU team around 2010. The apparel companies get involved with these players during high school (or earlier) and can begin funneling money to families/coaches/advisers through AAU teams. Where did Muhammad choose to go to school? UCLA, which is an Adidas school, naturally. And what apparel company sponsors Muhammad’s sister, Asia, who is a fledgling professional tennis player? Yup, you guessed it.
When Holmes says choosing UCLA was a “business decision,” you know exactly what he means.
Image via @cjzero
- Filed Under:
- College Basketball
The Bruins beat Arizona 74-69 Saturday in their final home game of the season. It was Senior Night at Pauley Pavilion, and though Larry Drew II was the only player honored, Muhammad may as well have been, too.
“I knew going into this season that his was a one-year deal. He’s a top-five pick. That was his last game in Pauley,” Howland said after the game, per the Daily Bruin’s Sam Strong.
“This wasn’t meant to be an announcement for Shabazz. I’m just being honest. … Just keeping it real,” the coach added, according to CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish.
Though Howland believes Muhammad is gone after the season, the Bruins’ top scorer is not ready to make that announcement.
“It’s a long season. We don’t know yet,” Muhammad said regarding his future, per Strong.
After sitting out the team’s first three games of the season waiting to be cleared by the NCAA, Muhammad joined the team and became its top scorer and 3-point shooter. UCLA has had a fair season based on expectations, but they still have two regular-season road games, the Pac-12 tournament, and the NCAA Tournament to leave a stronger legacy. Maybe Howland making the announcement can have a Ray Lewis-like impact on the team.
- Filed Under:
- College Basketball