MINNEAPOLIS — After a lot of twists and turns throughout the summer, Shabazz Muhammad staying right where he’s been all along.
Muhammad agreed to terms on a one-year deal to return to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday, an important development for a team in desperate need of depth on the wing.
“Minny I’m backkkk!!!” Muhammad tweeted on Tuesday night. “Let’s make this playoff run!!”
Muhammad’s deal is the veteran’s minimum worth $1.6 million, a person with knowledge of deal told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the contract has not been signed. ESPN first reported the agreement.
Muhammad has spent all four of his NBA seasons with the Timberwolves. Prior to last season, Muhammad turned down a lucrative four-year offer from the Wolves, hoping to cash in as a restricted free agent after the season was over.
But the swingman had an underwhelming season with 9.9 points in 19.4 minutes per game and his agent, Rob Pelinka, left his agency to become the general manager of the Los Angeles Lakers. Muhammad switched agencies twice over the summer while trying to find a long-term deal, but with the salary cap taking a hit from lower-than-expected playoff revenue, the money dried up before Muhammad could secure a contract.
He started the summer as a restricted free agent, meaning the Timberwolves could have matched any offer he signed. But they rescinded that right later as they spent their money on free agents Jeff Teague, Taj Gibson and Jamal Crawford, which left them with only the veteran’s minimum to offer for three open roster spots.
As training camp approaches, Muhammad turned down a larger offer with another team, according to the person with knowledge of the negotiations, to stay in Minnesota. The prospects of playing for a winner and getting consistent minutes were attractive to Muhammad.
The Timberwolves only had Crawford behind starting wings Jimmy Butler and Andrew Wiggins prior to signing Muhammad, who will bring his aggressive brand of scoring back to the Wolves second unit. They also hold Bird Rights on Muhammad, meaning they can exceed the salary cap next summer to retain him if they so choose.
With Muhammad back in the mix, the Wolves will turn their attention to the final two open spots. Forward Dante Cunningham and guards Jason Terry and Aaron Brooks are among the possibilities for them.