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Posted at 12:19 PM ET, 01/22/2011

Report: Wizards to sign Mustafa Shakur to 10-day contract

By Michael Lee

The Wizards appear to be making plans in case Kirk Hinrich is out for an extended period. Scott Schroeder of AOL Fanhouse is reporting that the team is calling up Mustafa Shakur from the D-League. Schroeder spoke Friday night with Shakur, who said that he expects to be in Washington in time for the Wizards' game on Saturday against the Boston Celtics.

"Hopefully, if everything goes right with my flights, I'll get there and get situated and then be ready to play against the Celtics," Shakur said.

A league source said that Shakur is "likely" to be signed to a 10-day contract. Shakur is a 6-foot-3 point guard who is averaging 16.7 points, 5.0 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 1.9 steals this season while making 48.8 percent of his field goal attempts for the D-Leagues's Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

The Wizards have been keeping tabs on Shakur for some time and considered signing him before bringing back Lester Hudson after the Gilbert Arenas trade. He participated last week in the D-League Showcase in Texas -- where Wizards vice president of basketball administration Tommy Sheppard was in attendance -- and earned second team honors.

John Wall would be the only healthy point guard available for the Wizards, with Hinrich suffering a strained right elbow in the fourth quarter of their 109-91 loss to the Phoenix Suns. Shakur was an undrafted free agent out of Arizona in 2007 and has had brief stints in Sacramento, Oklahoma City and New Orleans, although he has never appeared in an NBA regular season game. He has also played in Poland, Spain and Greece and for the Tulsa 66ers in D-League.

By Michael Lee  | January 22, 2011; 12:19 PM ET
 
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Comments

I remember him at Zona...kid has a nice all-around game and decent size.

Shakur seems to have a better overall feel for running the point than Hudson.

Posted by: elfreako | January 22, 2011 12:44 PM | Report abuse

He's been recognized as one of the top pgs in the D-League for a couple years, I think.

I think if it were my decision, I might go back to Cedric Jackson, who I liked last year, and who I think compares favorably to Shakur. Plus the coaches know Jackson.

But it's always good to see a guy like Shakur who has paid his dues and earned a chance, get that chance. So I hope he plays great and gets signed for the rest of the season. If not, the Wizards can still bring in Cedric.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | January 22, 2011 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Who cares? This changes nothing.

I predict that this kid will be just like Lester Hudson and A.Gee....here a few days, gone a few days....didn't matter.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | January 22, 2011 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Caught some of the Ohio State at Illinois game on CBS this afternoon. Jared Sullinger vs Mike Tisdale. Sullinger doesn't seem to have any difficulty establishing position against the seven footer so he's managed to get 15 boards, but his points in the paint are coming mostly on foul shots -- he looks too short to get his turnaround shot over Tisdale's reach. That could be a problem in the pros. Can't imagine him getting that shot off against the real shotblockers.

The Buckeyes look like a legit title contender but the OSU player who catches your eye is Aaron Craft, a freshman PG with great defensive instincts. For Illinois, Jereme Richmond, a 6'7" frosh SF who has first rounder written all over him.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 22, 2011 2:04 PM | Report abuse

"I predict that this kid will be just like Lester Hudson and A.Gee....here a few days, gone a few days" Posted by: DC_MAN88"

OK, we'll hold ya to this bold prediction.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 22, 2011 2:13 PM | Report abuse

For those interested in how Gilbert is doing in Orlando - from Ian Thomsen on SI.

"Stan Van Gundy, this week you reacted to Gilbert Arenas' struggles by saying, "The biggest thing he is struggling with now is me. ... He's not enjoying playing and I'm a big reason.''

"You said this before Arenas had issued a public complaint. To Arenas' credit, when asked about his struggles, he didn't blame you."

"...But I find myself asking: Has Bill Belichick or Rex Ryan ever taken the blame for being insistent? Were Bobby Knight or Casey Stengel ever concerned their players didn't appear to enjoy playing the game? Even Connie Mack in his straw hat was not so conciliatory after the fact as you are."

"This is how difficult it has become to coach in the NBA: A demanding coach with a .653 career winning percentage has to negotiate a preventive truce on a daily basis in order to maintain control of his team. Coaching in the NBA is the hardest job in pro sports. There is nothing else in the same ballpark because NBA players wield so much power, not only because of their guaranteed contracts but also because basketball provides them with so much more freedom than players are given in baseball or football."

"I suspect the relationship between NBA coach and player may begin to change with the next collective bargaining agreement, if it eventually becomes feasible to waive contracted NBA players as Belichick and Ryan are able to do in the NFL."

Posted by: Samson151 | January 22, 2011 2:20 PM | Report abuse

uh Samson why do you quote the SI article as if those are Van Gundy's words. They are not. He only said "The biggest thing he is struggling with now is me. ... He's not enjoying playing and I'm a big reason.'' You have also taken his words out of context. In the context of the entire statement (which is not here) Van Gundy was not saying GIl has a bad attitude. He was saying that the Orlando system requires Gil to play with discipline and to play defense - unlike the Wizards system. Please stay off the Wizards propaganda bandwagon, who have an endless history of making really dumb trades.

Posted by: MikeMIke3 | January 22, 2011 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Thomsen: "I suspect the relationship between NBA coach and player may begin to change with the next collective bargaining agreement, if it eventually becomes feasible to waive contracted NBA players as Belichick and Ryan are able to do in the NFL."

Posted by: Samson151

Id love this to become true, but I'm much less sanguine than Thomsen that it might happen.

On the Arenas front, I thought last night's game offered hints that SVG may eventually use Gilbert as a spot-up shooter.

It's too early to tell anything yet about how that team as a whole will pan out, but Van Gundy does look like a a very good defensive coach. (Bass played fantastic defense!)

Predictably, of course after every loss or close game, the fan base calls for Stan's head: He's lost the players! He can't motivate them! All he does is yell and wave his arms--the players don't listen to him! He's too hard on the players! He doesn't play enough! He plays too much! His rotations stink! We can't win the championship with [his current fairly stable 8-player rotation)!) His offense is too predictable! We need to go to Howard more! We need to go to Howard less!

I've been reading the Orlando sites regularly since Arenas was traded and it's been quite a revelation--we don't have the only set of loony fans! ; >

Posted by: nmik | January 22, 2011 3:09 PM | Report abuse

For MikeMIke3:
Here's what Van Gundy said according to the Orlando Sentinel:

What do the Orlando Magic need to do to get Gilbert Arenas back on track?

It was a simple question, . . . and it yielded a refreshingly thoughtful — and surprising — answer from coach Stan Van Gundy.

“He’s struggling right now, and I think right now, quite honestly, the biggest thing that he’s struggling with right now is me,” Van Gundy answered.

“I don’t think that’s necessarily an easy adjustment for anybody, but for a point guard, I think it’s tough. When Rafer [Alston] came in midseason [in 2008-09], he had played for me before. And, so, he know I was a [jerk], and he was used to it. I only say that half-jokingly. He knew what it was going to be like and the whole thing. And I’m harder on point guards than anybody else. I’m sure Jameer [Nelson] could vouch for that.

“Here’s what I think happened. If you really look at it, when he [Gilbert] came right in, he was playing well because we weren’t putting a lot on him. He was just playing. He was playing well. He was playing free. And the more expectations I’ve put on him and the harder I’ve been and a little bit quicker hook and all of that, it’s been hard on him.

“I think a good part of that is . . . my responsibility. And he and I have to, I think, sit down and talk and try to get a better understanding of each other and what’s going on, because right now I think Gil’s not playing with a great deal of enthusiasm. I don’t think he’s enjoying playing. And I think the way I’m coaching him is a big reason.”

Arenas [had] alluded to being nervous about making mistakes on Sunday after a practice in Boston, but he never mentioned or even hinted that Van Gundy’s coaching style was the reason for that nervousness.

(Response by Arenas in next post.)

Posted by: nmik | January 22, 2011 3:28 PM | Report abuse

What Arenas said (from Orlando Sentinel):

After Wednesday’s game against Philly, he was told about Van Gundy’s comments and was asked for his thoughts.

Arenas responded by saying that players on new teams have many adjustments to make. But, yes, he has to get used to Van Gundy’s style.

“It’s hard, especially for new players coming in because you’re not used to getting yanked after one bad play or two bad plays,” Arenas said. “Now, it’s like you’re just out there playing not to make mistakes instead of just playing. It’s just something you just get used to.”

It’s difficult to convey tone in a case like this, but Arenas’ tone as he answered questions was not in the least bit whiny or angry.

In fact, he sounded chipper and upbeat.

So, while, yes, it seems that both Van Gundy and Arenas would benefit from the talk Van Gundy wants to have, Arenas didn’t indicate that he’s upset about the situation.

Arenas was then asked if Van Gundy is more difficult to play for than the other head coaches he’s had in the NBA.

“No, everyone has their different styles,” Arenas said. “Once you learn them, then it’s easy. Once they learn you and have trust in you, then it’s easy.

“When I first was with Eddie Jordan [in Washington], I used to get subbed every 15 seconds,” Arenas continued, giggling, “because he wasn’t used to my style. Once you grow on somebody, it’s easier.”

Posted by: nmik | January 22, 2011 3:34 PM | Report abuse

"uh Samson why do you quote the SI article as if those are Van Gundy's words. They are not. He only said "The biggest thing he is struggling with now is me. ... He's not enjoying playing and I'm a big reason.'' You have also taken his words out of context. In the context of the entire statement (which is not here) Van Gundy was not saying GIl has a bad attitude. He was saying that the Orlando system requires Gil to play with discipline and to play defense - unlike the Wizards system. Please stay off the Wizards propaganda bandwagon, who have an endless history of making really dumb trades.Posted by: MikeMIke3"

Nah, you're misreading it. Thomsen's words. And Thomsen's opinion.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 22, 2011 4:00 PM | Report abuse

" it's been quite a revelation--we don't have the only set of loony fans! ; >Posted by: nmik"

Some time when you have to be up late with nothing to do, try cruising newspaper sites around the NBA and check out the fan commentary. Winning teams in places like Boston, Chicago, NY don't seem to get much more respect than teams in Philly, Detroit, NJ -- or here. Apparently NBA teams are mostly run by greedy villains who hire sociopaths as GM who in turn recruit mouth-breathing incompetents to coach...

Posted by: Samson151 | January 22, 2011 4:21 PM | Report abuse

The way I see it, the Wizards have 15 roster spots, and all 15 should be utilized in the search to find and develop talent. That's what they are doing. Signing Shakur is part of that process. He may stick or not, but the important thing is for the Wizards to continually strive to improve.

I predict that Shakur will play well.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | January 22, 2011 6:29 PM | Report abuse

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