It’s time to play another round of everyone’s favorite game: “Who is going to Europe?”
France’s own Roddy Beaubois — the player the Mavericks had high hopes for but who missed most of the season after a foot injury and even when he returned was not right — is one of the players who is not heading across the pond, his agent told the Washington Post.
This is good news for the Mavericks — the return of a healthy Beaubois, a more mature version of the one we saw two seasons ago, could provide the athletic spark and change of pace the Mavs will need off the bench to repeat. Him playing overseas just risks aggravating that injury again.
However, in that same Post article we learn that Mustafa Shakur, the guard who spent his rookie season with the Wizards, has signed with the French side Pau-Orthez.
Another Wizards rookie, Kevin Seraphin, played in France before and is open to returning if the lockout drags on.
The New Orleans Hornets announced today that they have waived 26-year old guard Mustafa Shakur, who had signed a partially guaranteed contract with the team earlier this off-season. The Hornets’ recent acquisition of guard Curtis Jerrells made this move all but inevitable.
The former Arizona standout has come achingly close to making an NBA rotation a few times in his professional career, but it hasn’t quite happened for him yet — Shakur was a Lakers summer league invite in 2009 and signed a 10-day contract with the Thunder, but never appeared in a game for either team.
Shakur was named a D-League All-Star in 2010, and also has professional experience overseas.
New Hornets General Manager Dell Demps comes from the San Antonio organization, where among his duties was to be general manager for the Spurs D-League team the Austin Toros.
As such, he got a good look at Mustafa Shakur, the former Arizona point guard who lit it up for the Tulsa 66ers last season – 19.3 points and 6.9 assists per game. If you like your stats advanced, he had a PER of 22.
Those re the kind of numbers that should get you noticed. It did – Shakur has signed a partially guaranteed deal with the Hornets and Demps next season.
Point guard minutes with the Hornets are not going to be easy to come by. Chris Paul will get the lion’s share, with Marco Belinelli behind him. Still, Shakur is getting his shot, and that’s all he can ask for.
There’s nothing wrong with taking time to deliberate a purchase, whether that purchase is a big screen TV, a new car, or the services of D-League All-Star point guard. So the Oklahoma City Thunder brought Shakur in for a 10-day contract, didn’t re-up him for a second, stewed over the decision for a few days, and have officially inked him to a deal for the rest of the season.
Shakur was not the most productive guard in the D-League, but he was certainly up there. In 43 games for the Tulsa 66ers this season, Shakur averaged 20.4 points per game (14th among qualified guards) and 7.1 assists per game (5th among qualified guards). Not too shabby at all, but it’s Mustafa’s abilities — not just his production — that should have scouts drooling. Sometimes when a player looks like an NBA point guard, sounds like an NBA point guard, and smells like an NBA point guard, they’re probably an NBA point guard.
That’s the case with Shakur, who has big-league size and skills, but was only missing a legit opportunity to make an NBA roster. This could be Shakur’s big break, and though he isn’t likely to get much playing time behind a pretty decent guard rotation in OKC, it’s a start. The confidence from the Thunder franchise is the important thing, and being able to add call-up legitimacy to his resume should help Shakur net a full-length guaranteed gig in the future.