The Minnesota Timberwolves are reportedly trying to re-sign Shabazz Muhammad after rescinding his qualifying offer.
In a bizarre turn of events, ESPN’s Darren Wolfson reported that the Timberwolves want to bring back Muhammad after his free agency hasn’t gained any traction.
Muhammad, 24, had his qualifying offer pulled back in July, which was worth $4.2 million. He’s spent the last few weeks as an unrestricted free agent. Going forward, Minnesota has a tough battle on their hands. They’re only able to bring back Muhammad for the minimum, and he’d earn just $1.57 million his first year, per RealGM.
It’s a tall task because Muhammad nearly made double that for 2016-17 ($3.04 million), and the three previous years of his rookie contract were also above the minimum. He’d really have to like the Timberwolves to swallow his pride and accept that.
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In year four, Muhammad had one of his better seasons despite taking a hit in playing time. The 19.4 minutes he averaged were fewer than the prior two, but his production on a per 36 minutes basis was on par with 2016.
He averaged 18.3 points and 5.2 rebounds per 36. Muhammad is one of those players who has to show that he’s earned a consistently large role, and he put up 20.3 points and 6.3 boards last season in games where he got between 30-39 minutes. There were only four of those contests, but it’s a nice sample size. However, he also posted a plus/minus of minus-11.2, so I can see why the Timberwolves would be reluctant to throw him out there.
Will Muhammad be a free agent when the season starts? I don’t know, but it wouldn’t shock me if he was. There haven’t been any rumors about him since he entered free agency, and it appears not many teams are interested in taking a scoring wing who’s one of the worst defenders in the league.
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