May 16, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Shabazz Muhammad is interviewed during the NBA Draft combine at Harrison Street Athletics Facility. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Timberwolves Will Not Guarantee Shabazz Muhammad Minutes

On most sub-par teams, rookies are often thrown to the wolves, no pun intended.

That doesn’t mean they’re put out on the floor as a starter, but if you’re a high profile rookie coming into the NBA on a losing team, you usually get somewhat significant minutes.

If Shabazz Muhammad gets those minutes in Minnesota, it’ll be because he earned them.

According to Flip Saunders, the Timberwolves aren’t guaranteeing any minutes to Muhammad, especially after the team signed both Kevin Martin and Corey Brewer, along with re-signing Chase Budinger.


Saunders has been explaining the pick of Muhammad almost since the moment Minnesota made it in the POBO’s much-anticipated first Draft. He had a semi-apologetic news conference that night, after preferred scorers Ben McLemore and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope came off the board immediately before the Wolves’ slot at No. 9 and sent them scrambling for Nos. 14 and 21 in a trade with Utah.

Saunders reminds anyone who asks that their harvest that night was “2-for-1,” turning that ninth pick (Trey Burke) into both Muhammad and Louisville center Gorgui Dieng. Had Muhammad and Dieng been reversed in order, the heat on the UCLA kid would be dialed down, if not on Saunders and the Wolves.

But it’s important to keep that heat in perspective. Saunders, staking a return to the playoffs after nine consecutive misses as Minnesota’s primary ambition, tried to do that Monday. “We’re not counting on rookie,” he said, “so we’ll let them develop at their own pace. If they happen to improve enough to play for us, so be it. If they don’t, we’re just going to let that situation develop.”

Tags: Minnesota TImberwolves Shabazz Muhammad

  • Austin

    Good, as it should be.

  • Len

    Shabazz will get his minutes….