it did not look to me from what I have read that shabazz lacks lateral quickness. he tested in the average range for guards and NOT SF which is what he is listed as by many people. as a matter of fact his lateral quickness tested a lot better than ben mclemore who was listed as a guard and who is 189 pounds, and shabazz came in at 221. also shabazz vertical was not far off mclemore for standing or max, and he has over 20 pounds on ben and more height and length. I still think ben will be a really good player, I like his game a lot. I just wanted to point out it seems this average athlete thing turned out to be a MYTH. if he impresses in team workouts with his handle, I think you can mark him down as a SG, and bet he is in the top 5.
Bazz is going to be another Barnes, where people knew he was a great athlete in high school and then nagging injuries and style of play slowed him down in college, and then he'll get to the pro ranks and people will remember and be "surprised".
Also, one thing Bazz has over the rest of the top guard prospects is that ridiculous wingspan and reach. He has GREAT defensive potential once his conditioning catches up and his coaching staff give him more advanced instruction.
Bazz tested pretty well, he was very quick in the lane agility for his size, his vertical wasn't half bad considering the extra weight he's carrying and I like his work ethic.
I really don't understand the hatred being directed at Bazz by a lot of the mainstream media, I feel like he's pissed off the wrong people in the NBA and they are trying to drive his stock down.
I really hope Bazz is given an opportunity to play big minutes for a struggling franchise early in his career, if he's not given an alpha-dog opportunity then he might go the way of Michael Beasley.
He does have a ridiculous wingspan for a guard prospect, but thats only if he can stay as a guard. I personally think he should try to stay at the 2 for as long as he can, but where he's slotted in the lineup and who defends him isn't up to him. People are slotting him as a SF for good reason, but his physical attributes at the position give him far less advantages.
I agree that he appears to be scrutinized more than other prospects. For instance I think if guys like Noel and Bennett got scrutinized as much as Muhammad, they'd be shredded and downgraded as well. One reason why I do think he's getting criticized is because the one thing that he supposedly does really well, scouts have trouble seeing how that will translate. He's a scorer, but can he score in 1 on 1 situations? Can he create separation to get his shot off? Does he have the first step to take advantage of his finishing ability? He can post up SGs, but can he overpower and shoot over SFs?
Muhammad will get baskets in the NBA. He also will be one of the best players in this class I think. Not that this class is super crazy, but oh well. He plays strong, and has the instincts to score. He does need to develop a better right hand and improve his handle, and his shot is just OK, but he already kind of has NBA type instincts offensively and will be a decent scorer. His intangibles seem questionable, and he doesnt always look in the best shape, but he is a player. I dont ever think he will be a standout defender, as him and the rest of his UCLA teammates didnt really seem to care about stopping teams when I watched, but he will get rebounds and he will score. And score relatively efficiently. He reminds me of a young Paul Pierce.
I don't get the Shabazz and Pierce comparisons. I understand where it comes from. Pierce is like the go-to comparison for any wing who is considered an average athlete. I don't see many similarities however. When Pierce was Shabazz' age, he had just finished his junior season at Kansas and didn't have questions about whether he could create his own shot. He was very good at beating defenders off the dribble and shooting off the dribble. He also notched plenty of blocks and steals in college unlike Shabazz. Their weaknesses and strengths don't match up. Shabazz is better than Pierce ever was at coming off screens and knocking down jumpers but if he can't take his man off the dribble effectively, he's not like Pierce at all.
I think Pierce has take about 5 one-handed push shots in his career. Shabazz might take more than that after his first pro game.