Here’s what an NBA Summer League game can give you a clear picture of: nothing. Put together a couple of Wolves rookies (Shabazz Muhammad, Gorgui Dieng), a guy who played overseas last year (Robbie Hummel), the brother of a hot-shooting Golden State Warrior (Mychel Thompson—who didn’t even see the floor), an assistant coach’s son (Luke Sikma) and a squadron of guys looking for enough burn to catch someone’s eye and you have a complete lack of what makes a team be about something. An NBA team is a conglomeration of approaches, toolsets, hopes and dreams, all angled (hopefully with some precision) towards the goal of becoming something greater than the sum of their parts. A Summer League team is the mismatched toolbox you found in the basement when you moved into the first house you bought. It might get the job done, but that’s about it. Continue Reading…
Archives For Shabazz Muhammad
Model and process.
The San Antonio Spurs are the model franchise for those places that have trouble attracting free agents to move their families to a less than desirable location. When I say less desirable, it’s in relative terms. It’s hard to equate our lives to those of an NBA player, whose lifestyle will always be a different world to us. When you have the opportunity to live in a lively city that also has complementary amazing weather or unmatched nightlife, that’s going to be more desirable for you as an NBA player. When you don’t have those luxuries, you have to have a core set of values that never get compromised. You have to possess a process to believe in.
This is how the San Antonio Spurs are and it makes me insanely jealous. It’s not even that they’re successful. Sure, it would be awesome if the Wolves had four championships or even one championship to look up at in the rafters of the Target Center, but what I’m envious of is the process for how they look to accomplish their goals for success. Continue Reading…
A few notes here annotating Zach’s excellent summary of the Wolves’ first round.
It’s important to remember just how much uncertainty plays into these decisions. Especially when you’re drafting in the middle of the first round, and especially in a draft as zany as this one, GM’s are constantly recalibrating their matrices of risk and reward. There’s no occult knowledge here, no hidden absolutes. The draft game is a set of shifting uncertainties. In all likelihood, someone taken in the middle of the first round will become a Kawhi Leonard or a Larry Sanders or a Ty Lawson. And when they do we’ll all heap scorn on those pathetic GM’s who missed out. But: anyone here know who that guy is yet? Neither do I.
I like it.
I’m not ashamed to admit it. I’m not embarrassed to admit it. I’m not sucking up to the organization. I genuinely like what happened for the Wolves in the 2013 NBA Draft. It wasn’t perfect and I get why it’s confusing to some. But I feel like I see a vision here and I think the two main pieces the Wolves added in this draft are going to be major contributors in a positive way. The draft was turned on its head from the get-go when the Cavs selected Anthony Bennett with the first pick.
Nobody saw that coming. Nobody saw Nerlens Noel falling to sixth. Nobody saw Jrue Holiday being traded for Noel just minutes later. Not many thought Ben McLemore might fall to seventh and it seemed weird that the Bobcats would take Cody Zeller without trading down from No. 4. But all of that happened and when Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was taken right before the Wolves were up at No. 9, it seemed like a lock that C.J. McCollum was a lock to run the backcourt with Ricky Rubio. And then it happened. The Wolves selected Trey Burke and the internet went into David Kahn joke convulsions.
Right away, you have to figure this pick was about getting value. It wasn’t about getting value with Burke joining the team, although I think he’s a lock to be a Rookie of the Year favorite with the Utah Jazz; it was about moving Burke and seeing what the Wolves would get in return. With the 14th pick, they took Shabazz Muhammad. With the 21st pick, they took Gorgui Dieng. They sold off the 26th pick for cash and a future second rounder from the Golden State Warriors. Continue Reading…
That didn’t take long. The Wolves have traded Burke to the Utah Jazz for the the 14th and 21st picks in this year’s draft. And with that 14th pick they chose…Shabazz Muhammad of UCLA. Here’s what Zach had to say about him earlier this week:
Here’s what I like about Shabazz: he can score (I think getting more scorers on this team can only be a good thing), he can shoot (not a deadeye but he’s not Wes Johnson either), he’s a good spot-up shooter (Rubio safety valve option?), he gets to the free throw line, a huge part of his game is getting out in transition (Wolves want to run), he rebounds well enough, and I think his wingspan turns him into a player with the potential to be a good defender. He only goes left, it seems but I still think he has the ability to become a well-rounded scorer. He also moves incredibly well without the ball and can post up a bit.
Here’s what worries me about Shabazz: he’s a bit of a tweener when it comes to playing shooting guard or playing small forward (which will plague him until he learns how to defend), he doesn’t pass at all (it’s both good and bad because he can’t be Derrick Williams out there but he also doesn’t turn it over much at all either), he’s not someone that generates a lot of turnovers (but that could develop), not a great athlete (length could make up for a lot there but he has to be quick, more than explosive), and he can’t shoot much off the dribble.
And here’s his DraftExpress video:
We’re a little over a week away from the 2013 NBA Draft.
This used to be like watching a really good horror movie for Timberwolves fans. You’d feel all kinds of excitement and adrenaline coursing through your veins, but ultimately you knew the demise of many was coming at the end. But now with David Kahnye West gone from the front office and Flip Saunders in charge, we have a blank slate for the organization’s draft credit. We could either end up with good credit or bad credit starting with the 2013 NBA Draft, but we do know that it will be different than what David Kahn gave us. Continue Reading…
The 98.3% chance of the Wolves not getting the number one pick and the 81.1% chance of the Wolves staying at number nine in the draft came through. Always a bridesmaid, never a bride or something. But now we know where the Wolves will draft, unless they reach a trade.
I think it’s safe to say the Wolves will explore trade options with the pick for a couple of reasons. 1) That’s just standard operating procedure for teams once they get their pick to see if anybody is willing to give up something of value to get it or to give up something of value (or Mike Miller and Randy Foye) to see if you can move up in the draft. 2) If Rick Adelman is indeed going to be back coaching the Wolves, the idea of him wanting to trade the pick to bring in a veteran shouldn’t shock you. The idea of trading it for a veteran can take the fun out of it for a lot fans because people love to think about potential when it comes to rookies.
When you look at the history of the number nine picks over the past two decades, there have been some really good players drafted in that slot. We’ve seen Andre Drummond fall to nine. We’ve seen guys like Kemba Walker, Gordon Hayward, and DeMar DeRozan taken as intriguing prospects over the past couple years. We’ve seen superstars like Amar’e Stoudemire, Dirk Nowitzki, and Tracy McGrady. Incredible role players like Joakim Noah, Andre Iguodala, and Shawn Marion have also gone ninth.
Sounds pretty awesome, right? Continue Reading…