Tom Thibodeau never seemed that high on Shabazz Muhammad, whom the Timberwolves president/coach inherited in Minnesota. Muhammad surely never wanted to settle for a minimum contract.
Yet, here we are.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Minnesota renounced Muhammad to sign Taj Gibson earlier this summer, but this deal will restore Muhammad’s Bird Rights and allow the Timberwolves to exceed the cap re-sign him when he becomes a free agent – likely next summer. If this is a one-year deal, Muhammad could block any trade.
Muhammad neither shoots 3-pointers nor defends well – major deficiencies for a wing this era, which explains why he didn’t receive bigger offers. He’s just 24, and he’s strong enough to create efficient shots inside against most defenders. His strength also helps on the glass.
Minnesota especially could have used a 3-and-D wing, but down to minimum contracts, Muhammad provides excess talent. He prioritized a short-term deal in hopes of earning more next summer, and getting his Bird Rights back could only help.
This is a marriage of convenience for both sides.