Shabazz Muhammad worked out for the Wolves.
Marlin Levison, Star Tribune
Shabazz Muhammad found himself going against Gophers product Rodney Williams for the Wolves on Sunday morning.
MARLIN LEVISON • Star Tribune,
Wolves get a look at UCLA's Muhammad
- Article by: JERRY ZGODA
- Star Tribune
- June 17, 2013 - 6:52 AM
The Timberwolves once had a guy named Kevin Garnett who despised playing afternoon games, and they ended up doing all right with him.
On Sunday, they swapped times for their predraft workouts and sprung a morning session on a group that included UCLA forward Shabazz Muhammad, who never considered himself a morning guy until now.
“Usually I don’t do that good in early mornings,” he said after working out in a six-player group that included Kentucky’s Archie Goodwin and former Gopher Rodney Williams. “I actually think this is one of my best workouts, so I prefer morning now.”
Sunday’s workout was No. 4 in Muhammad’s scheduled seven-city tour before the June 27 draft. He arrived at Target Center looking to show new Wolves basketball boss Flip Saunders that he has the scoring skills and temperament worthy of the ninth overall pick.
It will also help if he convinced Saunders he can go to his right as well as his dominant left hand and is a team player willing to share the ball and fit in on a team built around Kevin Love, who also attended UCLA, and Ricky Rubio.
“I’d love to play for this team,” Muhammad said. “I love K-Love, that’s my guy. Ricky is the most unselfish point guard in the league. This would be a great program for me.”
Muhammad is a 6-6 small forward who was considered one of the best prospects in his high school class, but he didn’t fulfill those expectations in his one collegiate season.
“He’s a scorer,” Saunders said. “That’s just what he does. It might not be the prettiest way he does it, but that’s a given talent. There are not a lot of guys like that anymore.”
Saunders called his Friday visit to watch Indiana shooting guard Victor Oladipo work out near Washington, D.C., “more confirmation” about a player he’d have to trade up from the ninth pick into at least the top four or five to select.
Saunders said he won’t travel to do the same for Kansas shooting guard Ben McLemore, but didn’t rule out leaving town to visit other players in the next week.
“The chance of me taking someone I haven’t seen isn’t real good,” he said. “That’s not to say it won’t happen. But it can only help if you can look a guy in the eye.”
• The Wolves brought Williams back Sunday for another workout after he participated in group workouts for many NBA teams last month at Target Center. “He played 100 percent better than the last time we saw him,” said Saunders, who noted how Williams’ jump shot was much better.
• Former Gophers forward Trevor Mbakwe is one of six players scheduled for Monday’s workouts. He Will be joined by North Carolina forward Reggie Bullock, New Mexico forward Tony Snell, Ohio State forward Deshaun Thomas, Arizona State swingman Carrick Felix and Utah center Jason Washburn.
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