PORTLAND, Ore - Granting Shabazz Muhammad's wish to play elsewhere, the Timberwolves reached a contract buyout with the fifth-year forward on Thursday.
Several reports indicate he will sign with Milwaukee once he clears waivers.
Muhammad played in just 32 of the Wolves’ first 64 games – and averaged fewer than 10 minutes in each – and his agent with the Wolves’ permission had sought for weeks another team for which he’ll play more.
“He wasn’t playing as much as he’d like and we told him we’d try to do the right thing for him,” Wolves coach/president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau said. “It’s a good opportunity for him to move on.”
By agreeing to the buyout, Muhammad forgoes a veteran’s minimum player option for next season.
He re-signed with the Wolves to $1.6 million veteran’s minimum last fall after he turned down $40 million in October 2016, the same time teammate Gorgui Dieng signed a four-year, $64 million contract. The 14th player taken in the 2013 draft, Muhammad was one of the Wolves’ most active players during training camp in San Diego, but didn’t play well early in the regular season and played less and less as the Wolves played better and better.
Muhammad was at Thursday’s morning shoot in Portland, but was not at the arena before the game while the buyout was finalized. He told the Undefeated, “I’m very happy and can’t wait to get my next opportunity.”
Even when star Jimmy Butler was injured recently, Thibodeau reduced his rotation from nine players to eight and didn’t play Muhammad at the end of two lopsided victories.
“You know, it’s just one of those things,” Thibodeau said. “We went 25 games into the season and we weren’t playing well, so we had to make some changes and then we took off. I don’t want to put it on him. As a team we weren’t playing well…
”We want to thank him for his contributions and wish him well going forward.”