The NBA Draft is fast approaching and while four fan bases remain glued to the tube to see if their favorite team can make championship dreams come true, 26 other teams are combing draft sheets and reviewing tape to see if they can’t find the player to take them to the level of Conference Finals dominance. One of those players may be UCLA forward Shabazz Muhammad, but according to ESPN draft analyst Chad Ford, Muhammed may take an epic tumble which could land him outside the lottery picks.
Ford currently has Muhammad mocked 14th overall to the Utah Jazz which is not only an absolute steal for the Jazz but it’s a representation of how much Muhammad’s stock has dropped over the last month. But while Ford has Muhammad mocked tot he Jazz at the very end of the lottery picks, the question needs to be asked how real is the possibility that Muhammad falls out of the lottery?
The answer is quite simply low at the moment.
Yes, Muhammad’s stock has dropped recently and his critics are mounting faster than any other player in his class. But Muhammad is one of the most gifted scores in the draft and that’s something that teams put above mostly everything at the end of the day.
In all honesty, there’s not a very good reason as to why Muhammad would slip past the Detroit Pistons at 8th overall, as Detroit is looking like a fit for the UCLA product. The Pistons need a flashy scoring option and Muhammad fits the bill almost perfectly. He has his flaws, but he’s a scorer who will try to light up the board every game and teams value that in the NBA even if they try to avoid the topic.
However, while there’s serious reason to believe the Pistons would bite if Muhammad fell to them at 8th overall, their biggest need is at the three spot and someone could fall with Muhammad that fills that need and makes a better pick. After Detroit there’s Minnesota who could look Muhammed’s way but seem to need a scoring point guard more. Portland is likely to look at a shooting guard while Philadelphia and Oklahoma City will be looking at bigs with their picks.
That brings us right to the next possible spot for Muhammed which is the Dallas Mavericks pick. Dallas doesn’t want this pick and Muhammed might be a guy that teams would trade up to get if he falls this far as there’s a significant drop off in talent outside of the lottery. If no one bites there we have Utah who likely won’t pass on Muhammad and will thusly save him from dropping out of the lottery.
It will be interesting to see what happens on Draft day as a team may take Muhammad because he’s a flashy name who happens to be a flashy scorer. Both things are coveted in the NBA which makes projected Muhammad’s eventual landing spot extremely difficult at this time.