Closing the Rumor Mill – Shabazz Muhammad Won’t be a Laker

Darius Soriano —  September 12, 2017

One of the last vestiges of Lakers free agency rumor season was regarding their 15th roster spot and whether they would use that vacancy to fill a hole on the wing. The name that was most recently associated with that opening was Shabazz Muhammad, the Timberwolf turned restricted free agent turned unrestricted free agent.

The former UCLA Bruin and Rob Pelinka client played SF for the Wolves and, in theory, would have filled in on the wing behind Brandon Ingram. Turns out, though, he won’t now. Since he’s going to return to Minnesota:

It’s hard to know how much interest there was between Muhammad and the Lakers — though I’ve heard both sides were serious about him coming to Los Angeles. As noted, things could have potentially fit well with his former agent now the GM and the Lakers having minutes to fill on the wing.

Bazz isn’t the most “Luke Walton” type of player for the wing — he’s not a shooter and is not a natural ball mover by any means, but he can score and can do real work in transition. He’s also a post option as a perimeter player, something that can be exploited in the team’s playbook and offer some diversity to a team that can use another bucket getter.

Alas, though, it will not be. Which really means the team we see now is very much likely the team that will go into training camp at the end of the month. This, ultimately, translates to the Lakers giving first dibs to minutes at SF to either Corey Brewer, Kyle Kuzma, or Luol Deng. The first of those three is aged and the latter two are more natural fits at PF, but it is what it is.¬†You can’t have everything — especially when you’re a team projected to in in the low 30’s this season.

So, I’d say the rumor mill is now closed. Which is fine. From where I sit, it’s time to start to see what this team has with the guys it has in house and to see what players can stick beyond what is going to be a year of transition for the roster and organization at large.


Darius Soriano

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to Closing the Rumor Mill – Shabazz Muhammad Won’t be a Laker

  1. A Horse With No Name September 12, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    Das okay . . . . guy isn’t the right fit for this team. Keep the “room” open and add somebody if it makes sense later.

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  2. This is good news for me. We already have too many one-year rentals.

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  3. I haven’t followed his pro career but I seem to recall his old man is either a big time hustler or psychopath, or both. We already have that slot covered.

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    • +1 on the dad comment!

      Shabazz was highly rated out of high school and spent a year at UCLA. Turns out he was older than the competition so his gaudy HS numbers were an overstatement of his ability. His college stats were reflective of a return to the mean. He’s just a guy as a pro. No loss for missing out on him.

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    • Dad lied about his son’s age so he could play a year older than his supposed classmates at Bishop Gorman High in Las Vegas. It was discovered after he’d moved on to UCLA, so they got away with it. Classy folks.

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  4. I honestly didn’t see the fit–not defense, passing, or 3 pt. shooting. Brandon and Corey with backup from the Kuz look pretty good to me.

    Ray

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  5. According to Eric Pincus, the Lakers can reach $70 mil in cap space by trading Clarkson, not resigning Randle and stretching Deng. More than enough for two max players.

    However, if they are able to trade Deng, instead of stretching him. they can also resign either Pope or Lopez.

    Unless they can get Cousins away from NO, they should be very satisfied with Lopez. He also plays defense, as does Pope. IMO, both are keepers–but the proof will be on the court.

    If the team can come away next summer (still 10 mo. away) with just Pope, Lopez & George, this club will be as exciting to watch as the 2010 title team with Kobe, Gasol & Artest. .

    And should they be lucky enough to replace Lopez with Cousins, they would certainly be considered a top-4 contender in the tough Western Conference. But that is getting way ahead of ourselves. Right now, lets enjoy the growth of the young core, and the two new veterans.
    Gotta feeling that Lopez and Nance will make a great combination alongside Pope & Ingram..

    Lets get training camp started……

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  6. I hope this was all a ploy to get Minnesota to resign him. dr ray’s description pretty much covers the reasons he makes no sense as a Laker. He would be taking time from a player who actually might contribute down the road.

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    • I thought I had read shabazz had a richer offer from minny that was subsequently pulled. He ended up signing for the vet minimum, so it sounds like he left $$$ On the table.

      Of academic interest only to us Lakers fans I suppose.

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  7. Minny low-balled him & won. No sweat off our backs.

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  8. It’s unanimous-nobody here wanted him.

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