Phoenix Suns Not Worried About UCLA's Shabazz Muhammad's Reputation

USA TODAY Sports

Shabazz Muhammad's draft potential has been recently clouded by a negative reputation, but the Suns are so impressed with his play that they may be inclined to select him anyway.

Originally heralded as one of the top potential prizes in 2013's NBA Draft, Shabazz Muhammad's stock dropped considerably following his first and only year at UCLA.

Thus, the negative off-the-court reputation he garnered while playing through his freshman season clouded him heading into many pre-draft workouts for NBA teams this spring.

Still, regardless of what one hears, it's often necessary to see in order to believe. Luckily for Muhammad, the Suns appear to believe more of what they saw than what everyone else keeps hearing.

Following his participation in a pre-draft group workout, Phoenix officials were impressed by Muhammad's play and seemingly less concerned with the reputation and/or potential baggage the swingman brings along with him.

In need of someone who can spark their offense, new Suns' coach Jeff Hornacek was pleased with the number of different things Muhammad displayed that can do on that side of the court.

On the flip side, the UCLA forward told reporters on Wednesday that he believed he could fit in well with the group Phoenix currently has donning Suns' uniforms.

The team has a slew of promising complementary players, complete with those who pass the ball, play good defense, and rebound well, too. The most glaring need is that of someone who can score the basketball and provide a certain offensive punch. Of course, doing that is what Muhammad does best.

With the Suns set to select fifth overall in the draft later this month, Muhammad's stock could on the rise once again.

That said, as mentioned previously, Muhammad may be better suited entering the league by joining a team with a bevy of veterans to help guide and ease him into things, rather than a franchise who may build him up to be a savior of sorts.

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