Out of the rotation and clearly out of Minnesota Timberwolves president and coach Tom Thibodeau’s plans, guard Shabazz Muhammad has requested to the franchise that it move or waive him prior to Thursday’s NBA trade deadline, league sources told ESPN. Muhammad’s representatives recently made the request to the Timberwolves front office, league sources said.
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The Muhammad situation has been the weirdest part of the team’s depth problems. While Muhammad isn’t exactly a positive impact player, Minnesota could at least rely on him to score inside, run the floor and crash the glass. He could generate big scoring games off the bench from time to time that way. He turned down a four-year, $40 million extension before the 2016-17 season. Sources say Muhammad believed a strong year plus a crazy flow of free-agency money would lead to him commanding as much as $20 million per season in his next deal. But severely misreading the market led to Muhammad deciding between trying to join the Los Angeles Lakers on a one-year deal or coming back to the Wolves. He decided to return to Minnesota for another go.
Jon Krawczynski: Muhammad said he was very close to Lakers. Wanted to win in a place he felt comfortable
Shabazz Muhammad’s signing was confirmed today by the Timberwolves. Muhammad, who spent his four year career in Minnesota but was a free agent, got a one-year deal for the veteran minimum of $1.6 million.
Jon Krawczysnki: Source: Shabazz Muhammad turned down more $ to come back to Wolves for a playoff run. Wolves gave him a trade kicker to finish deal
Shabazz Muhammad: Minny I’m backkkk!!! Let’s make this playoff run!! 😝 #TWolves
Muhammad will sign for the veteran’s minimum of $1.6 million, a league source said. The deal could include a player option for a second year, but that was still an ongoing conversation on Tuesday, league sources said.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Free agent guard Shabazz Muhammad is finalizing a deal to return to Minnesota, league sources tell ESPN.
Darren Wolfson: League buzz: Muhammad has been talking to Landmark Sports about a reunion. LAL still worth watching on him. #Twolves not alone in interest.
Darren Wolfson: FA Marcus Thornton among a few players working out for #Twolves today, I hear. Also: buzz on slightly growing optimism on retaining Shabazz.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are holding out hope they can re-sign free agent Shabazz Muhammad, but with continued talk that he may join the Lakers on a one-year deal, the Wolves have started to work out other players to fill their remaining open roster spot.
The Wolves have pursued free agents Dante Cunningham, Tony Allen and their own Shabazz Muhammad, among others, but haven’t yet reached agreements with anyone.
Jon Krawczynski: Signs point to Shabazz Muhammad signing elsewhere, so Wolves ramping up their search. (@Darren Wolfson had Morrow first).
Eric Pincus: I’m told Shabazz Muhammad considering joining his former agent Rob Pelinka with Lakers, LA considering options as well
They also are among the teams that Muhammad is considering now that he likely will sign a league minimum salary after he turned down tens of millions of dollars from the Wolves last fall.
New Timberwolves’ signing Jamal Crawford made a public plea on Twitter for Muhammad to return. “He’s one of the players we are talking to,” Thibodeau told Dan Barreiro on KFXN-100.3 on Monday. “Bazz has a great relationship with a number of players on the team. I know they would like to have him back. He’s got to make a decision shortly.”
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.
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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February 22, 2018 | 9:29 am EST Update
Shams Charania: Sources: The Hawks plan to sign guard Antonius Cleveland to a 10-day contract. Cleveland went to training camp with Golden State and spent time with Dallas in regular season.
An outdoor amphitheater on Capitol Mall. Autonomous vehicles shuttling tourists from Sacramento International Airport to Golden 1 Center. A waterfront festival along the Port of Sacramento accommodating hundreds of people staying on luxury cruise ships. Sacramento’s bid to host the NBA All-Star Game in 2022 or 2023 is a mix of high-tech flash and outside-the-box concepts aimed at bolstering a proposal seen by many as a long shot. The bid, revealed to The Sacramento Bee late Wednesday, will be formally introduced Thursday at a press conference outside Golden 1 Center and delivered to the NBA the following day. The bid package will include virtual reality tours of event spaces and testimonials from team officials, local political leaders and former Kings legends.
Another topic at the first practice back was the prime topic in the country right now: Gun control. In the wake of the latest massacre in Florida, some high schoolers who survived the shooting have spoken out loudly about the issue, drumming up more conversation and potential change than at any other point. Kerr, who is passionate about the issue, was asked about the ongoing dialogue. “I think it’s phenomenal,” Kerr said. “What those kids are doing is heroic, it’s heartfelt and I think it’s the beginning of some change. I really believe that. I’m amazed every time I see on TV or online, it’s heartbreaking but inspiring all at once.
“I feel very encouraged. We’ve got a generation that’s grown up with these school shootings and mass shootings and they’re fed up. Historically, it’s a young generation that has to initiate change. You think about the Vietnam war. “All the old white guys who kept sending the troops over to fight this ridiculous war, it was all the young people who protested, had to make change, communicate. It’s the young people in the country now who are going to create the change we need in terms of how we handle gun violence and how we do our best to curb it. It’s amazing to watch.”
February 22, 2018 | 5:06 am EST Update
He also mentioned talking with Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid, although that conversation didn’t have as much depth to it. “He told me I should trust the process and come play for Philly,” Antetokounmpo said with a chuckle, drawing a laugh. “That was my reaction — I just laughed.”