May 16, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Shabazz Muhammad is interviewed during the NBA Draft combine at Harrison Street Athletics Facility. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Rookie Projections: Shabazz Muhammad


Team: Minnesota Timberwolves


Position: Shooting Guard/Small Forward


Role: Bench Player

Analysis: Shabazz Muhammad isn’t going to be expected to carry much of the load. At least, not right away. Later, down the line, the Timberwolves may need Muhammad, though. If they plan on making a playoff run – or at least competing in the Western Conference – they are going to need contributors off the bench. Especially when those bench players have the ability to shoot at a consistent level from deep. That’s what Muhammad can bring, as a three-point threat (shot 40% from three last season at UCLA).

However, one thing that Muhammad has to correct right away is his maturity level. It was reported last week that Timberwolves front office may threaten the rookie forward by starting the season in the NBA D-League if he doesn’t “shape up”. Muhammad can’t contribute from there.

If Muhammad can find a way to mature, like now, he may have an impact on this year’s version of the Timberwolves. Though, if this offseason is any indication of how the rest of the regular season will turn out, it’s not likely that Muhammad will have the kind of impact that one might think.

If I had to bet on it, I say that Muhammad finds himself – at some point during the season – on an assignment in the D-League. With that said, I think he ends the season on a good note and finishes strong as a contributing member off the bench for the Timberwolves.

Statistical Projection: 18 MPG, 4.6 PPG, 33% 3-PT

Tags: Minnesota Timberwolves NBA Offseason Shabazz Muhammad

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