With the conclusion of the 2012-2013 college basketball season on the horizon, now is the time to begin focusing on where the top prospects will land come the 2013 NBA Draft, and how much of an impact they will have on their professional teams.
One of the most intriguing prospects in college basketball is UCLA SF Shabazz Muhammad.
Muhammad has established himself as one of the top players in the nation during his stellar freshman season with the Bruins and will most likely be a top 5 pick when the draft rolls around in June.
Muhammad has a bevy of strengths in his extensive repertoire and he will make an immediate impact on whichever team acquires his services. The former number two high school prospect in the country has been very consistent throughout this season and is one of the best perimeter shooters in the nation. Muhammad also has the rare ability to create his own shot and has been the go-to offensive weapon for UCLA this year.
As for a comparison, I consider Muhammad to be the best NBA prospect since LeBron James joined the league in 2003.
Muhammad is by far a more polished jump shooter compared to James coming out of high school and is one of the best scorers in college basketball, as he is averaging 18.3 PPG and shooting 44 percent from three. The freshman is arguably one of the best clutch shooters in college basketball as he has repeatedly propelled UCLA to victories late in games.
He is also talented defensively as he plays excellent on-ball defense and he can get around screens with ease. He also has excellent agility and anticipation, enabling him to successfully remain close to his matchup throughout games. Muhammad also plays a physical brand of defense and can draw charges when needed very consistently.
James was excellent defensively coming into the 2003 NBA Draft but he had many issues on the offensive end. Another top prospect over the past few years that comes to mind is Kevin Durant, who entered the NBA after one season at Texas. Muhammad and Durant are even offensively, as both have the ability to make shots from deep easily and are very skilled in isolation situations, although Muhammad has the slight edge on defense over Durant.
Muhammad will be one of the top players in the NBA in the next three years and is the best prospect since LeBron James in 2003. Although this is a very bold statement, if their skill sets at the time are analyzed, it is not unreasonable that this conclusion could be reached.
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