Photo: Otto Kitsinger/NBAE/Getty Images
Shakur is a player I raved about quite a bit last season if your memory goes all the way back to last season and hasn't been obstructed with the craziness that was this basketball offseason.
An excerpt from my March 6 report:
Mustafa Shakur is an NBA player: he has NBA size (6'3" without shoes), NBA explosiveness, excellent scoring ability, a floor general's attitude and is even showing that he can play NBA-type defense on a consistent basis this season. Unfortunately, he doesn't have an NBA team ... yet.
As far as an NBA outlook goes for Shakur, I think, at least, that there is one. As he told the Daily Thunder crew in this interview, Minnesota played him at both the point and shooting guard while he was with them in the preseason - while this is easy to overlook, I'm sure there are quite a few teams that wouldn't mind picking up a player that can be an emergency point guard as well as a solid scorer off the bench.
FanHouse's Matt Moore goes on to say that this isn't just a great opportunity for Shakur, but also a good indication that Dell Demps has brought his pro-D-League thinking with him to New Orleans:
Perhaps more notable in this, though, is the clear sign being sent from New Orleans' Dell Demps. For years the Hornets have been reticent to use the D-League in any capacity. With Demps at the helm, hired directly from the Spurs where he was, among other things, general manager of the Toros, a new era seems to likely be in effect. Signing Shakur is at the very least an indication that the D-League is no longer beneath their use. Signing Shakur means that D-League players are no longer off-limits. Whether this bears out for the rest of the organization's strategic player development plans remains to be seen.
Let's hope this is just a small sign of what's to come (Lord knows they already liked D-League-quality (not to be confused with quality D-League) big men after bringing Sean Sonderleiter, Brian Cusworth, Liam Potter, Nikola Dragovic, Carlos Wheeler and company to the Summer League in Vegas).