Blazers trade rumors have linked the team to Shabazz Muhammad of the Minnesota Timberwolves. These Portland Trail Blazers trade rumors indicate that the Phoenix Suns, Boston Celtics, and L.A. Clippers also have interest in Muhammad. A report from NBA analyst Darren Wolfson has Wolves general manager Milt Newton faced with the tough decision of whether or not to move Muhammad before the NBA trade deadline hits on February 18.
Newton’s first real test: whether to move Shabazz. Hear tonight Blazers, Suns, & Celtics kicking the tires. LAC still too, & more. #twolves
— Darren Wolfson (@DWolfsonKSTP) February 11, 2016
Shabazz Muhammad is in his third season with the Minnesota Timberwolves and has played in 54 games this season. At the NBA All-Star break, he has averages of 9.7 points and 3.1 rebounds per game. Muhammad is a shooting guard that provides energy off the bench and shoots 45.8 percent from the field and about 28 percent from three-point range. He has only appeared in 129 NBA games and Muhammad is still learning the game.
From a standpoint of talent, these Portland Trail Blazers trade rumors might make sense. Muhammad could provide the Blazers additional depth off the bench and keep the team at a high energy level when Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum are out of the game. His salary is just right as well, with Muhammad set to earn just over $2 million this season and just over $3 million for the 2016-17 NBA season. The Blazers could make this trade for just a draft pick, as the team is also well under the salary cap this year.
The ultimate question in this situation is what it will take for the Minnesota Timberwolves to make a deal. With a lot of young talent already on the roster, it’s possible that the front office in Minnesota is looking to gain another first-round pick to build with. The Blazers are currently in the seventh playoff spot in the Western Conference, possibly lowering the value of that pick. That might actually create an incentive for the Blazers to make the deal if the thought is that the pick would result in a player less talented than Muhammad.
In addition to the Blazers trade rumors, there appears to be a high number of teams taking a look at Shabazz Muhammad. It is clear that many general managers see the value of acquiring a young guard with a low salary and an abundance of energy. That might be a hint to the Minnesota Timberwolves that he is a player worth holding onto for the long-term. This does make it surprising that the Wolves would even consider trading Muhammad, but if the plan is to add long-term assets to a roster centered on Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns, a trade might not be a bad idea.
If the NBA season ended today, the Portland Trail Blazers would have the No. 16 pick of the 2016 NBA Draft. Is that pick worth trading straight-up for Shabazz Muhammad? The answer might just be yes. It’s also possible that the Wolves would add another salaried player like Anthony Bennett or Tayshaun Price, possibly giving the Blazers even more depth down the stretch. It places another important question in front of a surprising Blazers team. Should the franchise keep that potential lottery pick or build for a run at the 2016 NBA Playoffs?
The NBA trade deadline will hit on February 18, giving general managers the All-Star break and then a few additional days to make new deals. There have been several Portland Trail Blazers trade rumors about the team acquiring players to make a run at the postseason, and Shabazz Muhammad would certainly improve the roster in a short-term view. Can the two teams come to terms?
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