ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news Tuesday afternoon:
Source: @ShabazzMuhammad will sign for vet. minimum of $1.6M, and his Bird Rights restore with Minnesota next summer for longer term deal.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 12, 2017
Muhammad has been a steady option off the bench during his time in Minnesota, playing in 78 games during the 2016-17 campaign. Averaging 9.9 points per game last season, Muhammad also shot 48.2 percent from the floor, including 33.8 percent from beyond the arc.
Despite his offense, Muhammad has always struggled on the other end. Among 423 qualified players in 2015–16, Muhammad ranked 422nd in ESPN’s “Defensive Real Plus-Minus” statistic, ahead of only J.J. Barea. This led to a decline in minutes for Muhammad, who struggled under new head coach Tom Thibodeau for the majority of the year. Despite that, Muhammad’s scoring output only fell slightly. He recorded a season-high 22 points in 18 minutes off the bench against the Milwaukee Bucks last December, making 4-of-5 three-pointers.
Despite obvious concerns defensively, Muhammad can continue to provide Minnesota with consistent offense off the bench. A consistent scorer from both mid-range and in the paint, Muhammad has also improved his three-point game throughout his NBA career. Additionally, at just 24 years old, Muhammad still has plenty of time to tweak his defensive play and become a better-rounded player. Notably, Muhammad has been able to stay healthy for the majority of the past two seasons. He’s missed just four games since the start of the 2015-16 season, making him a consistent and reliable option to have on the roster.
The former lottery pick can certainly work on different areas of his game, but with plenty of time to develop, he could become a real asset for the T-Wolves. If Muhammad improves this season, he may be able to earn a bigger contract on the free agent market in 2018.
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