HoopsHype Shabazz Muhammad rumors

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Shabazz Muhammad was talking with reporters, and he was quick to predict a Zach LaVine victory in the upcoming Slam Dunk Contest over All Star Weekend after watching LaVine practice his dunks. “It was some crazy stuff, stuff I haven’t seen,” Shabazz Muhammad said. “And I’ve been watching the dunk contest a long time.’’ Minneapolis Star-Tribune

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Muhammad has definitely gotten better, but by changing his eating habits. He has gone from a fastbreak of double cheeseburgers as a rookie to dedicating himself to chicken salad, from approximately 245 pounds to 215 the second season, from out of shape as late as summer league last July to beach workouts that left him puking on the sands of Santa Monica, Calif., and because of it has gone from a focus of criticism to re-affirming his spot as part of the Minnesota future. NBA.com

Muhammad's usual release of getting on the court was not available -- he could barely get on the court. Instead, he ate himself to a weight that once seemed unimaginable. He heard the dissections that he was a selfish player and, as 2013-14 slipped away, that Minnesota would regret the choice. It has all made this season that much more satisfying. NBA.com

What did you do in the summer to lose 30 pounds? Shabazz Muhammad: I worked out with this guy (Frank Matrisciano) that used to work out with Blake Griffin for two years. He really got my weight where it needed to be and got me stronger and it really helped me out a lot. It was a lot of sand work. A lot of running, medicine balls. It was a lot of stuff. I loved doing it. Like I said, Blake Griffin did it for two years and his game went to the next level. It's something I can't wait to have also. NBA.com

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When Minnesota traded Corey Brewer to the Rockets, Timberwolves president/coach Flip Saunders said the move was made in part to develop Muhammad, who began starting after the deal. Muhammad is averaging 13.3 points on 49.5 percent shooting and 3.9 rebounds per game this season. The advanced stats that skewered him now show a player finding his way. His PER of 20.2 ranks 38th in the league, better than everyone else drafted in the 2013 lottery. NBCSports.com

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