2013 NBA Draft Prospect Workout: Shabazz Muhammad and Co.

The Sacramento Kings continued to bring potential picks in for workouts Monday.  Shabazz Muhammed headlined an otherwise veteran-laden group.  Outside of the UCLA star, every other player at today’s tryout was 22 years or older.

From the players we are seeing come through, Michael Malone is clearly looking for long defenders to add to this Kings roster.  Early this draft season, we are seeing top-tier prospects mixed with athletic wings and shot-blocking bigs.  It almost feels like Malone is focused more on the second-round pick the Kings hold rather than the seventh overall selection, which to a certain degree makes sense.

Note:  While I was not in attendance today, I have seen all the available footage from the workout to make these assessments.

Brandon Davies

  • Age: 23
  • Position: Forward
  • College: BYU
  • Height: 6-10
  • Weight: 242 lbs.
  • Chad Ford’s Top 100 Ranking: 72
  • Quick Breakdown: High-energy forward with explosive leaping ability, athleticism and a knack for rebounding.  Must get stronger and refine his offensive skills.

Analysis: At 6-foot-10, 242 lbs., Davies has an NBA body and maybe even an NBA frame, but he is garnering only moderate interest as an NBA prospect.  The 23-year-old BYU product is older than many in this draft class, but his production as a senior was solid.  What little film available on him today showed that he has nice form on his baseline jumper and that he had very little problem in the post with bigger opponents like Zeke Marshall.

Elias Harris

  • Age: 23
  • Position: Forward
  • College: Gonzaga
  • Height: 6-8.5
  • Weight: 238 lbs.
  • Chad Ford’s Top 100 Ranking: 79
  • Quick Breakdown: Physical player who runs the floor pretty well.  Quick, explosive and built like an NBA player.  Also a good rebounder, but not a particularly refined offensive player.  Not a strong shooter.

Analysis: Harris is a big-time athlete, but even what little we saw of his shooting was not good.  His 18-foot jumper starts well below his waist and takes way too long to get off.  It’s tough to imagine a spot in the league for Harris today at his current skill level, especially for a 23-year-old prospect.

Shabazz Muhammad

  • Age: 20
  • Position: Forward
  • College: UCLA
  • Height: 6-6
  • Weight: 222 lbs.
  • Chad Ford’s Top 100 Ranking: 14
  • Quick Breakdown: Strong, physical player who can score without dominating the basketball.  Finishes well at the rim and has good slashing ability.  Must get better at shooting off the dribble, lacks elite athleticism and is a bit one dimensional.  Does his talent warrant the number of off-the-court distractions that have clouded his career?

Analysis:  Touted as a small-forward, Muhammad is roughly 3/4-inches taller than Tyreke Evans with nearly the same wingspan and reach.  That is where the comparisons end.  The left-handed UCLA product doesn’t have the broad shoulders or muscle definition of Evans and his .8 assists per game are from a different planet.

Known as a pure shooter that struggles to create for himself, Muhammad has a nice release and high-arching jumper.  He was accurate in today’s workout, but it’s hard to judge a player just off his shooting touch.  His skill set is similar to last season’s No. 7 pick, Harrison Barnes, but he clearly doesn’t possess the same size as Barnes.  He looks more like a shooting guard at the NBA level.

Muhammad’s interview was very solid.  He is bright, engaging and clearly interested in sliding up to the seventh overall pick where the Kings are drafting.  Muhammad said he models his game after James Harden and Manu Ginobili, which is a tough sell.  He is neither the passer or off-the-dribble player that those two are.  Muhammad struggled a bit to answer questions about the off-the-court issues that have plagued him in the past, but he is now being represented by Bill Duffy, which should help him with some of these distractions.

Zeke Marshall

  • Age: 22
  • Position: Center
  • College: Akron
  • Height: 7-0
  • Weight: 235 lbs.
  • Chad Ford’s Top 100 Ranking: 84
  • Quick Breakdown:  Big man who uses his length to enhance his shot-blocking ability.  Uses size to establish position in the post, but does not have a refined offensive game.  Questions about his toughness.

Analysis:  Marshall is a long, athletic big man who has improved almost across the board every year in college.  If the Kings are surfing for a defensive-minded reserve to bring off the bench, you could do worse than a 7-footer who averaged 3.6 blocks per game in just 28 minutes.  In what little we saw today, Marshall has a smooth stroke from about 18-feet out, but he looked a bit plodding.

Trevor Mbakwe

  • Age: 24
  • Position: Forward
  • College: Minnesota
  • Height: 6-8
  • Weight: 236 lbs.
  • Chad Ford’s Top 100 Ranking: 59
  • Quick Breakdown: Plays physically and with high energy and is an intense rebounder.  However, undersized for the four spot and is old for his class.

Analysis: Another lanky athlete, Mbakwe is the oldest of the prospects today at 24-years old.  At 6-foot-8, the senior out of Minnesota has an insane 7-foot-4 wingspan.  Similar to Romero Osby, he has the look of a defensive-minded small forward, but we have very little footage of him from today’s workout.

Romero Osby

  • Age: 23
  • Position: Forward
  • College: Oklahoma
  • Height: 6-7
  • Weight: 230 lbs.
  • Chad Ford’s Top 100 Ranking: Unranked
  • Quick Breakdown: Making the transition from power forward to small forward.  Working on tightening up his jump shot and ball-handling ability.  Old for his class, but doesn’t lack maturity because he’s married and has a child.

Analysis:  From both inside and outside, Osby shot extremely well in his senior year at Oklahoma averaging 16 points and seven rebounds a game.  He is not on anyone’s board, but he is a muscular athlete with a long wingspan.  While he hit most of his perimeter shots in the footage we watched, he is not a natural shooter from the perimeter, using mostly his upper body instead of his legs.  Players like Osby can be found just about anywhere.  If he stood out in his workout, it wasn’t while the tape was rolling.

WATCH: Shabazz Muhammad answers questions with Sacramento media

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