Saturday 18th May 2024,
The Hoop Doctors

Shabazz Muhammad Rejected $40 Million Deal From Timberwolves Last Year…And Now Makes NBA Minimum

Shabazz Muhammad

What do they say about hindsight again?

Oh, right: It sucks.

Okay, fine, they actually say hindsight is 20/20, but sometimes, having 20/20 vision sucks. Shabazz Muhammad knows what we’re talking about—oh boy, does he know.

According to the Star Tribune‘s Jerry Zgoda, Muhammad turned down a $40 million extension from the Minnesota Timberwolves last season, electing instead to roll the dice on free agency. That proved to be a bad move. He ended up returning to the Wolves on a two-year deal at the NBA minimum for roughly $3.4 million. And he is, predictably and justifiably, at least a little disappointed about it:

Muhammad was raised in Los Angeles, but he turned down offseason overtures from Lakers basketball bosses Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka, who was his former agent, as well as bigger salary-cap exception offers from other teams. Instead, he chose to return to Minnesota — which once had seemed such a foreign place — to play for $1.6 million this season because it felt like this is where he belongs.

Teammate Gorgui Dieng signed a four-year, $64 million contract last fall that seemed reasonable at the time while Muhammad and Pelinka turned down a contract extension believed to be worth at least $40 million.

Muhammad said he has “no regret” the way things turned out, but called himself “obviously a little disappointed” that contract offers didn’t materialize for him this past summer like they did for players such as Allen Crabbe (four years, $75 million) and Tyler Johnson (four years, $50 million) in 2016.

Muhammad, to be clear, is not alone in his plight. Pretty much every NBA free agent thought they were going to get huge raises after watching a 2016 spending spree unfurl. But the market corrected itself in a big way, and it’s expected to remain similarly depressed this summer.

Complicated matters even further, Muhammad accepted a little less to remain in Minnesota so that he could, presumably, boost his value as a primary scorer on a woefully thing bench. But that plan hasn’t worked out. He’s slashing career-worst shooting percentages and has registered DNPs in each of Minnesota’s past four contests. Many now expect him to opt into to the final year of his deal for next season, which will be worth roughly $1.8 million—unless, of course, he enjoys a second-half breakout.

Talk about your expensive disappointments.

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