Oklahoma City Thunder: Hard to tell if Shabazz Muhammad is on OKC's radar

The 6-foot-6, 222-pound Shabazz Muhammad averaged 17.9 points and 5.2 rebounds as a freshman at UCLA, but off-court matters have clouded his draft status.
BY JOHN ROHDE Published: June 16, 2013
Advertisement
;

photo - UCLA's Shabazz Muhammad reacts after making a 3-point shot against Missouri in overtime of an NCAA college basketball game in Los Angeles, Friday, Dec. 28, 2012. UCLA won 97-94 in overtime. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
UCLA's Shabazz Muhammad reacts after making a 3-point shot against Missouri in overtime of an NCAA college basketball game in Los Angeles, Friday, Dec. 28, 2012. UCLA won 97-94 in overtime. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Much of the Thunder's success has come in vetting its draft prospects.

General manager Sam Presti is quite particular in what type of player will best fit the organization.

Whenever possible, Presti observes a player in his family environment to see how well-rounded a prospect is away from the court.

So where exactly does this leave Shabazz Muhammad? Is he even on Presti's radar?

The Thunder does not share information throughout the draft process concerning scouting, interviews or workouts. There is no evidence Muhammad has worked out in OKC, nor has he posted any recent messages about the Thunder on his Twitter account.

The 6-foot-6, 222-pound Muhammad averaged 17.9 points and 5.2 rebounds as a freshman at UCLA, but off-court matters have clouded his draft status.

Muhammad's father, Ron Holmes, last month was indicted on federal bank fraud and conspiracy charges.

The U.S. attorney's office reportedly is trying to recover more than $2.5 million from Holmes and several associates who are alleged to have obtained “mortgage loans by fraudulent means to buy houses.” Holmes pleaded guilty in 1999 to using fraudulent bank statements in order to obtain mortgages. He had to pay a restitution fee of approximately $78,000 to banks and credit unions.

Holmes, who played collegiate ball at USC, also was a controversial figure in his son's amateur career. The NCAA thoroughly investigated the family for questionable financial dealings during the recruiting process.

“Our relationship is pretty strong,” Muhammad said of his father in an interview with Jim Rome. “I try to talk to him from time to time. He asks how I'm doing and stuff like that. He's there a lot and he's a good father figure for me.”

Before becoming eligible at UCLA, sanctions required Muhammad to sit out three games and re-pay $1,600 in impermissible benefits for accepting travel and lodging during three unofficial visits to Duke and North Carolina.



Editor's note

As part of the James Harden trade with Houston last October, the Thunder obtained the No. 12 overall selection in the June 27 NBA Draft via Toronto. We look at 12 potential candidates the Thunder might consider taking with that No. 12 pick.

Today: UCLA small forward Shabazz Muhammed

SHABAZZ MUHAMMAD

Height: 6-foot-6

Weight: 225

Birth date: Nov. 13, 1992

Hometown: Las Vegas

School: UCLA

Class: Freshman

2012-13 stats: 30.8 mpg; 17.9 ppg; 5.2 rpg; 0.8 apg; .443 FG; .711 FT

Strengths: Powerfully built and offers a post-up presence. Natural scorer, who has the ability to be prolific. Solid rebounder and good in transition. Strong slasher and finisher. High intensity and plays hard. Extremely aggressive. Quicker than you think.

Weaknesses: Viewed by many to be selfish. Left-hand dominant to a fault. Often considers defense to be an optional task. Consistently inconsistent. Streaky. Not extremely athletic. Is he a small forward or shooting guard? Outside shot needs development.

How he could help the Thunder: Similar build to James Harden, including being left-handed, but plays a different game. Could make an impact with his scoring and rebounding, but would need a serious attitude adjustment to fit in well with the Thunder.

Projections: No. 8 (cbssports.com); No. 9 (draftexpress.com); No. 15 (si.com); No. 16 (espn.com; hoopshype.com); No. 17 (nbadraft.net)

Quotable: “I knew they were going to go over those questions (surrounding the NCAA investigation). I just wanted to get them out of the way so they can know what's really going on. A lot of people speculate how bad I am as a player, but I really cleared it up and I'm also happy to get that stuff and can't wait to do the other interviews. I'm telling them everything, just telling them the truth. I'm a good kid. I'm here to play basketball and here to make a team really win.” — Muhammad at last month's draft combine

Trending Now


AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    George Clooney rejects Mail apology
  2. 2
    Bomb threat at Lexington Correctional facilities under investigation
  3. 3
    LeBron James returning to Cleveland Cavaliers
  4. 4
    North Korea Complains to UN About Seth Rogen Movie
  5. 5
    Toker Fired After Legally Smoking Pot Has His Job Back
+ show more