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NBA Draft Profile: Shabazz Muhammad

SHABAZZ MUHAMMAD

6-6, 225 lbs.

School: UCLA

Class: Freshman

 

Shabazz Muhammad, Chris O'Brien

AP Photo

STRENGTHS: Shabazz came right in and made an immediate impact at UCLA, scoring 21 points in his second game in a win over Georgia. He was brilliant offensively at times, pouring in 27 in an impressive overtime win over Missouri and putting up 20-plus points 14 times. He finished the season at 17.9 points per game. Muhammad is a lightning-quick perimeter player who has all of the tools of an NBA-level shooting guard. He’s a prodigious scorer and a reliable jump shooter and wants demands the ball at the end of games. He’s also an instinctive rebounder and is strong for his frame. He’s capable of scoring down low and was a good offensive rebounder when he put his mind to it.

WEAKNESSES: He can be a chucker. There is no reason for a 6-6, athletic swingman with his skills to average 0.8 assists per game, but that’s exactly what Shabazz did as a freshman at UCLA. Muhammad has a one-track mind and while that helps him put up big numbers, it can hurt the team when he’s having an off night. He needs to learn to buy into the team concept and help make his teammates better. The most glaring example of this was when Muhammad didn’t celebrate after Larry Drew Jr. hit a game winning shot against Washington earlier in the season. He wanted the ball himself. Whether it’s a product of the AAU culture or just Shabazz being selfish, that’s going to have to change.

BOTTOM LINE: Muhammad has all of the physical skills to become a true weapon as an NBA shooting guard. He’s a dynamic scorer and will develop into a deadly three-point shooter with prodigious scoring ability. The only thing holding Muhammad back is his mind. If he can work on becoming more of a team player and finding ways to impact the game other than by putting the ball through the basket, he will be a good NBA player.

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