Shabazz Muhammad: Draft Profile

Shabazz Muhammad (Shooting Guard/Small Forward) 

March 15, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UCLA Bruins guard/forward Shabazz Muhammad (15) celebrates after the game against the Arizona Wildcats in the semifinal round of the Pac 12 tournament at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. UCLA defeated Arizona 66-64. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Height: 6’5 

Weight: 222

Wingspan: 6’11 

Vertical Jump: 37 

NBA Comparison: James Harden. Muhammad shares a lot of common ground with James Harden as both players are strong, skilled, left-handed players whom of which possess unteachable offensive instincts.

Strengths:

  • Great motor. Capable of playing heavy minutes right off the bat.
  • Solid rebounder for a wing player.
  • Excellent spot-up shooter. Moves well without the ball.
  • Strong player even by NBA standards. Good post player.
  • Killer offensive instinct. Plays with a Kobe-esque fire.
  • Great length with his 6’11 wingspan. Has potential to become an elite defensive player.
  • Very high ceiling.

Weaknesses: 

  • Can be selfish at times.
  • Poor ability to create offense for self, and teammates.
  • Effort fluctuates.
  • Needs to improve his right hand.  
How he fits with the Suns:
Most scouts and general managers are magnifying what Muhammad can’t do instead of what he can do. Muhammad already possesses NBA-range, and I would be astonished if he doesn’t average at least double-figures in his rookie season. The Suns finished 28th in three-point shooting percentage this past season and Muhammad will help in that category right away.
Muhammad won’t be pulling up from downtown off the dribble however he will be a fine spot-up gunner from downtown; with Jeff Hornacek as the Suns new head coach if anyone can take Muhammad’s shot to the next level it’s Hornacek. The Suns are still seeking that go-to scorer and Muhammad could potentially fill that role. 
Most of the flaws in Muhammad’s game can be correct such as his ability to shoot off the dribble, attacking the rim off the dribble, and his court vision. Muhammad is a hard worker, and under the tutelage of a quality coaching staff he could strive in the NBA. Muhammad has the necessary tools in his repertoire, but like every prospect that’s ever came into the NBA he has to hone in on his skills and potential.
The Suns have already worked out Muhammad as well as a handful of other prospects thus far, and according to reports, Jeff Hornacek and Ryan McDonough were very impressed with Muhammad and seemed insouciant about the UCLA star’s negative reputation. Muhammad is currently ranked 14th on ESPN insider Chad Ford’s big board which coincidentally is in the middle of the Suns draft positions as the Suns currently own the fifth and thirtieth overall pick in the upcoming draft.
Phoenix Suns GM Ryan McDonough has been making inquires with many NBA teams attempting to secure an additional first-round draft choice, but it remains to be seen whether they’ll be able to secure a pick in the range of Muhammad’s projection.

Topics: NBA, Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Suns Draft, Shabazz Muhammad

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