In July the Minnesota Timberwolves renounced the rights to guard Shabazz Muhammad, making him an unrestricted free agent.
One of the teams that showed interest in Muhammad after he became a free agent was the Los Angeles Lakers, as they have one roster spot remaining and he would provide some scoring off the bench at a wing position.
While the Lakers may have been intriguing to Muhammad, as he played his college ball at UCLA and there was a possible opportunity for a bigger role on a bigger stage in Los Angeles, it appears he will be heading back to the Timberwolves on a veteran’s minimum deal, via Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Free-agent guard Shabazz Muhammad has agreed in principle to a deal to return to the Minnesota Timberwolves, league sources told ESPN.
Muhammad will sign for the veteran’s minimum of $1.6 million, a league source said. The deal could include a player option for a second year, but that was still an ongoing conversation on Tuesday, league sources said.
Last season in Minnesota Muhammad averaged 9.9 points and 2.8 rebounds while shooting 48.2 percent from the field in only 19.4 minutes per game. He was a former lottery pick as the Timberwolves drafted him 14th overall in 2013, so Minnesota was just not quite ready to give up on the 24-year-old.
With the offseason additions of veterans Jimmy Butler and Jamal Crawford it is currently unclear how much playing time Muhammad will get in Minnesota, but the Timberwolves will own Muhammad’s bird rights when he becomes a free agent next summer so he can sign a long-term contract for more money if the sides can come to an agreement.
The Lakers have already brought in a handful of players on partially guaranteed contracts to compete for that final roster spot so they will probably shift their focus back to them with Muhammad off the market.