Where Oh Where is Shabazz Muhammad?
The Minnesota Timberwolves had an impressive comeback victory on Wednesday night in Denver. It was a real “team-win” as Butler, Towns, and Crawford all scored at least 20 points.
A “team-win” isn’t the same as an “entire-team-win.” For that to take place, Shabazz Muhammad would have had to enter the contest. Wednesday marked the 9th consecutive game in which he hasn’t left the bench.
— shabazz muhammad (@ShabazzMuhammad) September 12, 2017
What a difference a few months can make! If you don’t believe me, ask Bazz. If he isn’t available, try to get ahold of Sam Bradford.
After a drawn out roller coaster free agency ride, the UCLA product eventually re-signed with MN in September. All of the twists and turns actually started prior to free agency. During last season, Minnesota proposed a 4 year/$40 million extension to Muhammad. He declined that offer.
Three months ago, the ride stopped where it started. Shabazz agreed to a deal to remain here. As for the money aspect, he will make just under $1.7M this season.
OUCH! That sucks. I’m pissed at myself for not investing in Bitcoin (maybe not anymore). The feeling in my stomach has to be somewhat similar to what Muhammad is currently experiencing.
I’ve been in three NFL locker rooms in the last three weeks and the hottest topic, by a wide margin, is which players invested in Bitcoin.
— Kevin Clark (@bykevinclark) December 21, 2017
The reason Bazz declined the extension was simple. NBA contracts are increasing at an extremely rapid rate. With that in mind, he wanted to test the waters. When you see players like Timofey Mozgov getting deals worth $16M per year, the prospect of exploring the market has to be intriguing.
Hell, Tyler Johnson couldn’t even stomach his new deal:
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) July 26, 2016
Muhammad’s logic made sense at that time. I get what he was thinking, but wow. Talk about one of your all-time backfires.
Unfortunately, the 6’6″ SG/SF won’t be getting Mozgov money anytime soon. I’d say it’s impossible he ever will, but KG taught me better than that:
There is no isolated incident (at least that we know of) to explain why the 25-year-old is in Coach Thibodeau’s dog-house. Everyone just knows he’s in there. That was especially evident during last Thursday’s blowout win over Sacramento. Even though 11 different Wolves entered the game, the Wizard of Bazz wasn’t one of them.
These stats from Aaron Gleeman of @Baseballpro caught my attention:
Wolves’ on court/off court point differentials per 100 possessions:
+23.0 Taj Gibson
+17.4 Jimmy Butler
+11.9 Andrew Wiggins
+5.6 Jeff Teague
+4.5 Karl-Anthony Towns
+3.4 Tyus Jones
+1.2 Nemanja Bjelica
-15.6 Gorgui Dieng
-17.8 Jamal Crawford
-26.4 Shabazz Muhammad
— Aaron Gleeman (@AaronGleeman) December 15, 2017
That’s not a good look for Shabazz. Minnesota is currently averaging 99.5 possessions per game. The above plus/minuses are per 100 possessions. You do the math.
By comparing Muhammad’s previous NBA seasons to this year, it’s clear that he’s struggling. Bazz currently has career low percentages in every major shooting category, besides free throws.
Shabazz Muhammad’s biggest asset is scoring. It has been his whole basketball career. There’s a reason he was once regarded as THE BEST player in the Nation coming out of high school. There’s also a reason he once scored 35 points in a NBA game.
Let’s hope Thibodeau gives him an opportunity to break out of this shooting slump soon. Nothing against Marcus Georges-Hunt, but I’d like to see number 15 get a few of his minutes. In my opinion, Bazz just has much more potential: