Shabazz Muhammad: Why Star Frosh Is on Track for First Pick in Draft

Jeremy FuchsCorrespondent IIIJanuary 25, 2013

Shabazz Muhammad has the skills to be the No.1 overall pick in the draft.
Shabazz Muhammad has the skills to be the No.1 overall pick in the draft.Harry How/Getty Images

Shabazz Muhammad is having an amazing freshman year, and it is clear that he is on track to be the first pick in the NBA draft. 

Muhammad is having a great year, averaging 18.2 points per game and 4.9 rebounds per game and shooting 47 percent from the floor.  He scored 23 points in UCLA's upset win over No. 6 Arizona.

The 6'6" guard/forward projects as a high-volume scorer in the pros. He can shoot it from the outside and score in the paint.

He's the type of player who will make an instant impact in the pros. For a franchise with the No. 1 pick, he will provide immediate scoring and help transform an offense.

He's also relentless on the defensive end, according to a NBA executive: "His greatest talent is his competitiveness," said an assistant GM who spent several days watching Muhammad in national team practices at the Hoop Summit in the spring. "He's relentless."

As soon as he enters the NBA, his team will have a top player on both ends of the floor, a scoring machine and a defensive stopper. That he's a perfect combination of the two makes him more than NBA ready. 

Even while adjusting to the competitiveness of college basketball, Muhammad has been very consistent, having but one game in which he scored fewer than 10 points.

He's also come up big in big games. In addition to his performance against Arizona, he scored 27 points in UCLA's upset win against then-No. 7 Missouri in late December.

Any team that has the first overall pick is looking for someone who can contribute right away. They'll want a player who can excite the fanbase and start the team on the road to rebuilding. 

Muhammad has that ability. Whatever team gets the first pick will be happy to select him. His season so far has proven that he is on track for the No.1 overall pick.