We’re in scouting report number four in our “is it off-season yet” coverage of the Charlotte Bobcats. There are still games to be played, but they’re forgettable and often borderline regrettable, so it’s to the future we look with great promise. We hope.
Cody Zeller, Ben McLemore and Nerlense Noel are all realistic options if Charlotte lands a top-five selection in the 2013 NBA Draft, and you can safely add UCLA phenom Shabazz Muhammad to the mix. Not only is his name fun to say, but he has a sick game with great potential at the next level.
The real question is whether or not the Bobcats should take him. Let’s scout him and answer that question:
Shabazz Muhammad’s Strengths
Muhammad has dominated the Pac-10 and has been a consistently elite performer on the college basketball stage – and this is just year one. He’s surely going to be one and done thanks to an excellent combo of size and athleticism, as well as a well-rounded offensive game. He’s a pretty efficient player with the ability to create his own shot, and has solid range going out to the NBA three. The beauty in Muhammad is that he’s already a gifted athlete and has a sound offensive game, and he’s still so young. He has an extremely high ceiling and if the Bobcats select him they’ll get a fairly NBA-ready prospect who can still keep developing into something even more special down the line.
Shabazz Muhammad’s Weaknesses
Could stand to get a little bigger and stronger. Has the athleticism to be a lock-down defender, but isn’t consistent or tough enough to be that guy just yet. Not the best creator in the world, while his lack of an elite handle plays right into that, as well. Can he be more than just a scorer? Needs to work on awareness, vision and control. Not a bad free throw shooter, but it’s an area where NBA scouts would probably like to see some improvement.
Should the Bobcats Draft Shabazz Muhammad?
I like his skill-set a lot and he has an NBA body and offensive game. If the Bobcats are in the 3-6 pick range, they absolutely should consider selecting Muhammad. He can refine his dribbling, defense and passing, but really this kid is already further advanced than the majority of the prospects coming out in 2013. The area of his game where most rookies struggle, he’s ready to roll with. Everything else should just come around to him naturally at the next level. Charlotte doesn’t have a set-in-stone #2 guard at the moment, so he’d make a ton of sense as a long-term cornerstone that can be a go-to scorer and leader.