Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Shabazz Muhammad has the talent to be an elite NBA scorer.
If there is one thing UCLA freshman Shabazz Muhammad knows how to do, it is score a basketball. After losing in the first round of the NCAA tournament, it is a foregone conclusion that he will enter the 2013 NBA draft.
Before the season, he was looked at as a potential target for the No. 1 overall pick in June. After a tumultuous freshman year, his draft stock has dropped a bit.
Muhammad missed the first three games of the season when the NCAA ruled him ineligible. When he did return, Muhammad was, somewhat understandably, out of shape and out of sync. And just days before his lone NCAA tournament game, the Los Angeles Times discovered that Muhammad was a year older than reported and had been lying about his age for years.
Despite all of that, Muhammad was still the best player on the UCLA roster. He led the team in scoring at 17.9 per game and added over five rebounds per contest.
He is a solid outside shooter, but Muhammad is most effective when attacking the basket. He scores very well near the basket and shot 5.6 free throws per game.
For the Pistons, Muhammad would be an immediate upgrade at small forward. He has the talent to become a first or second scoring option on a playoff team and could average 20 points per game in the future.
He is a fairly one-dimensional player, however, and would need to add other elements to his game to become an All-Star-level player. Muhammad is not yet a good defender and averaged less than an assist per game for the Bruins.
Muhammad could very well be available for the Pistons, as he is projected to go between No. 4 and 10. He is currently rated No. 5 by NBADraft.net and No. 7 by ESPN among all prospects.