So now it’s mid-August and Muhammad — a 24-year-old who can score and should still be improving — remains a free agent and shows up on a lot of those “best remaining NBA free agent” lists. If he was hoping to cash in this offseason, that prospect seems far less likely by the day. Muhammad might be in a spot soon where he has to take a short-term “prove-it” deal in hopes of improving his leverage the next time he’s a free agent. That makes a tweet last night from another new Wolves signee — guard Jamal Crawford — pretty interesting. In it, he implores Muhammad to “c’mon back home,” presumably meaning back to the Timberwolves.
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Darren Wolfson: Further Shabazz M. buzz: he’s looking to switch agents, so his FA plot thickens. Will have more on this week’s ‘Scoop’ podcast. #Twolves
Darren Wolfson: League buzz: #Twolves trying to convince Shabazz Muhammad to come back. They, of course, can only offer the minimum at this time. Hard task. pic.twitter.com/lbsFdEpQ2M
Alex Kennedy: The Hawks, Nets, Bucks, Knicks, Magic and Bulls have each shown some level of interest in unrestricted FA Shabazz Muhammad, sources confirm.
Marc J. Spears: Free agent forward Shabazz Muhammad is receiving interest from the Hawks, Nets, Bucks and Knicks, a source says.
Marc J. Spears: Add Orlando to list as well. twitter.com/marcjspearsesp…
Alex Kennedy: In addition to the Hawks, Nets, Bucks, Knicks and Magic (as @Marc J. Spears said), the Bulls have also shown interest in Shabazz Muhammad.
Chris Haynes: In what was a tough decision, Minnesota pulls QO from Shabazz Muhammad and he’s now an unrestricted free agent, league sources tell ESPN.
Are you serious we just lost Bazz Bc of Gibson? Wow I was happy with the Wolves for almost 2 weeks. Darren Wolfson: Best way to say since deals aren’t official yet: ‘Bazz camp alerting teams he’s now UFA. Two texted to say they’re told he’s UFA. #twolves
Paul Garcia: The Timberwolves have tendered a Qualifying Offer to Shabazz Muhammad making him a Restricted free agent (H/T Real GM).
Shams Charania: Sources: Minnesota guard Shabazz Muhammad has hired agent Rich Paul. Muhammad will be a free agent in July.
In his podcast Thursday, Darren Wolfson of KSTP in Minnesota said the Nets could have interest in Shabazz Muhammad, the 6’6” Timberwolves swingman. Muhammad, 24, is a restricted free agent.
Here’s what Wolfson stated… “So I’m told Tom Thibodeau and Scott Layden both took part in exit interviews with the players. I am told they expressed to Shabazz Muhammad a strong desire to retain him. Now was that lip service? I guess that remains to be seen come July. I am told they told him yes we badly want you back, we really enjoy you as a player. we think you can help us long term. We want you back. I still say keep an eye on the Brooklyn Nets. Now a handful of teams will have cap space but keep an eye on the Brooklyn Nets. A reminder Shabazz Muhammad is a restricted free agent.”
Shabazz Muhammad never thought he was going to be dealt before last week’s NBA trade deadline, but the Timberwolves forward at least felt wanted whenever his name came up. “There’s a lot of teams that have been coming up and have been interested in me,” Muhammad said, “so I know that’s a pretty good thing.” Particularly as he enters restricted free agency this offseason.
“But right now I’m focused on being a Wolf and happy to continue being one,” he said. That’s a similar approach to the one Tom Thibodeau is taking. The Wolves coach and president of basketball operations said a decision on Muhammad is “down the road.” “We’re positioned great in terms of what we have for cap space, where we are with our team,” Thibodeau said. “We have to work like crazy the rest of the way, and we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”
Dieng signed his new deal Monday, but an 11 p.m. deadline that night came and went without Shabazz Muhammad reaching an extension deal with the team. He will be a restricted free agent next summer. Asked if he is disappointed, Muhammad said, “Not at all. I’m still confident. Coach is still confident in me. In July, my rights are still here. They have the opportunity to sign me. So I love it here and want to be here long-term. We’ll see what goes down.”
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August 20, 2017 | 9:53 pm EDT Update
The Lakers have been under investigation by the NBA for tampering allegations since May because of a conversation Magic Johnson had on a television show about then-Indiana All-Star forward Paul George that angered Pacers owner Herb Simon, according to several NBA officials who were not authorized to speak publicly about the ongoing matter. The interview took place in April. Team officials aren’t allowed to make contact with a player or their representatives until the free-agency period opens on July 1.
The lawyers from the NBA and the outside counsel the Lakers hired to review the matter each deposed owner Jeanie Buss, Johnson, who is the president of basketball operations, and general manager Rob Pelinka in May, according to the officials.
According to several NBA officials, it would be difficult to prove that the Lakers have tampered with George. The officials also said the Lakers could be fined and have draft picks taken away if it is tampering allegations are proven.
The following statement was issued today by Alison Bogli, Director, Media Relations regarding the NBA’s investigation into the teams’ alleged tampering violation: “As the NBA’s statement made clear, we cannot comment about the specifics of any ongoing investigation. We can confirm, however, that we are cooperating fully with the NBA in the hope of clearing our name as soon as possible.”
Mark Berman: James Harden (@James Harden) charity basketball tournament at Rice also starring Chris Paul (@Chris Paul) a preview of the #Rockets 2017-18 season