The New Orleans Hornets announced on Thursday that they had signed free agent guard Mustafa Shakur. Terms of the contract were not released.
Shakur (6’4″, 195) appeared in 47 games (all starts) for the Tulsa 66ers of the NBA D-League last season, averaging 19.2 points, 6.9 assists and 4.5 rebounds in 37.8 minutes per game.
Personally, I think the Hornets made a great move by picking up the ex- Arizona guard. The team had no other PG on the roster to back up All-Star PG Chris Paul, after trading Collison to the Pacers. This might have been a problem, considering Paul missed 37 games due to injury last season.
After watching Shakur play with the Oklahoma City Thunder this year in the Orlando Summer League, I thought he had a good chance of landing on a team roster. In Orlando he showed scouts and GM’s alike that he can shoot and pass as well as any back up PG. He causes havoc on the defensive side of the ball with his length and he his deadly in transition. He has come a long way from his Arizona days and has learned a lot this past year in the D-League.
This is a move a lot of people will not pay attention too and it won’t generate a lot of media hype. But it is an underrated move and the right move for a franchise fighting to get back into the playoffs.
James continues his scouting of the NBA summer league games in Orlando, where many rookies are getting their first chance to prove themselves in the NBA.
Thunder (2-1) vs. 76ers (2-1) Thunder win 89-80 Box Score
• Thunder playing great team defense.
• James Harden is sporting the Mohawk, with the beard and the headband.
• Eric Maynor hurt his hand in 3rd. quarter and did not return.
Scouting Reports Thunder
Eric Maynor (23 min, 3-7 FG, 1-3 3 pt, 3-4 FT, 2 reb, 5 ass, 10 tp)- Great passer, was able to change shot in air one time and still put it in. Able to maneuver way to basket. Can shoot the 3. Very controlled/composed player.
James Harden (32 min, 3-10 FG, 0-4 3pt, 15-18 FT, 5 reb, 3 ass, 2 st., 6 TO, 1 blk., 21 tp)- Needs to improve jump shot- again he is TO prone- had a really rough first half- second half was able to get to the line- very good FT shooter. He uses his body well to shield defender- showed off nice footwork with a Euro step.
DJ White (22 min, 3-5 FG, 2-4 FT, 4 reb, 3 blk, 8 tp)- Great defensive player, runs the floor. Played great D on Speights. Defends pick and roll well. Also showed some nice post moves.
Latavious Williams (15 min, 4-5 FG, 2-3 FT, 5 reb, 3 blks, 1 ass, 10 tp)-Best game so far- looked a lot more comfortable on the floor. Has ability to finish at the rim. Plays game above the rim. NBA ready body. Great defender- displayed good timing with shot blocking. Has big hands. Still very raw- but has good potential.
Mustafa Shakur (25 min, 4-10 FG, 2-4 3 pt, 1-2 FT, 2 reb, 6 ass, 11 tp)- Best game yet for the guard out of Arizona. Led the team in assist and +/- score of +22. Looks composed at all times. A very willing passer who can see the floor and create. Very quick, can get to rim and pass to open big man. Good shooter with 3 pt range. Can shoot off dribble and can create own shot. Plays good good- has long arms. Very dangerous in the open court.
Byron Mullens (24 min, 7-8 FG, 2-6 FT, 6 reb, 16 tp)- Another solid performance from Mullens, who has really developed and gotten better since his Ohio State days. One year in the league has helped him immensely. He is very strong and runs the floor well for his size. Sets solid screens and rolls well. Has a nice hook shot and keeps the ball high on rebounds.
Jrue Holiday (33 min, 7-15 FG, 3-5 3 pt, 8-12 FT, 1 reb, 5 ass, 3 st, 6 TO,25 tp)- Another good PG from Holiday- who is looking more and more like the PG of the future for Philly. Has the best defense in the Summer League for a PG. Has quick hands. He is very strong in the air and can finish with contact. Has a slow release on jumper, but is a decent shooter. Needs to continue to improve consistency of jumper. Good passer.
Evan Turner (27 min,1-6 FG,2-2 FT,8 reb, 2 ass, 2 st, 4 tp)- Rough shooting day for Turner. He is able to still impact the game when shot is off. Is a good defender. Had a nice steal and pass to Holiday early in the game. Good rebounder. Showed a lot of frustration and displayed bad body language this game, especially after TO’s. Sometimes gets mixed up/lost on P and R defense.
Jodie Meeks (30 min, 4-14 FG,8-8 FT, 6 reb, 4 ass, 16 tp)- Runs off screens well and is ready shoot on the catch- good shooter, who can also get to the rim.
Marreese Speights (27 min, 9-19 FG, 2-2 FT, 9 reb, 20 tp)- Good scoring game for Speights. Should be getting to line more- does not bang enough down low. Settles for 15-18’ jumper too much- but he is showing the ability to make that shot. Needs to stay down on defense- goes for every ball fake/head fake. Good footwork in post.