UCLA freshman Shabazz Muhammad has been lying about his age. It was believed that he was a 19-year old but news came out today saying that he is really 20 and born in 1992.
Muhammad was one of the highest touted of his class and a lot of that had to do with his age. His dominance over the competition he faced in high school is now just a little bit less impressive.
There’s a good chance that Muhammad will see his draft stock slip slightly now. He was once thought of as a top-three pick but now could end up going later in the lottery.
You also have to factor in that a bunch of players in the NCAA tournament on teams that make it far will likely see their draft stock rise.
The Oklahoma City Thunder of course own the rights to the Toronto Raptors’ first round draft pick this year (as long as it falls within picks 4-14). The Raptors pick would be No. 11 overall if the season ended today and the draft lottery went exactly as planned.
A lot of the projections right now have the Thunder taking Mason Plumlee, Gary Harris or Michael Carter-Williams at that spot.
A lot can happen between now and the draft and Muhammad may slip as far as where the Thunder will end up picking.
One comparison Muhammad has drawn is James Harden (with a little Michael Kidd-Gilchrist in him). He is a lefty like Harden and a lot of his moves and mannerisms look like Harden’s.
This isn’t to say that Muhammad would be the second-coming of Harden if OKC lands him but he might be able to be something like him.
The Thunder don’t seem to have any issue drafting players that come with baggage. Just look at the first round pick they made last year when they took Baylor’s Perry Jones, III.
The Thunder are going to have a very difficult time keeping Kevin Martin after this season. They already have one rookie shooting guard in Jeremy Lamb who is waiting in the wings.
Lamb has yet to see any substantial playing time this season with the Thunder and if that’s because the Thunder aren’t in love with him, then maybe they would draft Muhammad if he is available even though he plays the same position as Lamb.
There’s still a good chance that Muhammad is gone before the Thunder get to pick. Remember that the Thunder have a lot of assets too and moving up in the upcoming draft will definitely be a possibility for them.