Nazr Mohammed has commited in principle to a deal with the Chicago Bulls, making him the backup center.
Let’s take a look at how he can help the Bulls in 2012-13.
The 34 year-old Mohammed is a 14-year NBA vet from Chicago, IL. A first-round draft pick in 1998, Mohammed began his career in Philadelphia after coming over in a trade from Utah.
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Career stats (Link to ESPN/NBA.COM)
Mohammed has been in the league for a while due to his ability to rebound the basketball. He’s dangerous offensively when it comes to put backs. His offensive rebound efficiency ratings are very, very good. This last year was his first year under 10 points per 40 minutes, but he’s usually at 16 points per 40, which is very good for a backup center. He’s a crafty veteran that can play serviceably for 6-8 minute stretches.
At 34, Mohammed doesn’t really move well, can’t jump and has poor hands. His diminishing athleticism has not hurt his rebounding totals, but they have hurt his ability to defend. He also has a really high foul rate, which would limit his ability to start, but he shouldn’t have to worry about that. He isn’t good at the line, but he doesn’t visit the stripe that often.
Think of Mohammed as playing a Kurt Thomas role for the team. He brings veteran leadership and all that, too. He’s similar to Kurt in limited mobility, inability to block shots, and a high foul rate. He’s dissimilar in that he cannot shoot from mid-range like Thomas can, and he’s a better rebound.
Mohammed is an NBA backup center. He’s done well enough to stick around for 14 years, and can be of use to a team like the Bulls. Bulls fans that are complaining about this signing need to realize that Mohammed won’t average more than 12-14 minutes per game. So, paying Mohammed the veteran’s minimum is fine with me. He’s not going to be Omer, but he also won’t cost $30 million in 2015.
Marco Radenkovich is the former Editor-in-Chief and founder of Horns to the Hardwood. He has also written for Scout.com’s Marquette University Basketball branch, Marquettehoops.com for four years, as well as multiple Chicago Cubs blogs. As a featured columnist, Marco will add advanced statistics to the team at HttH. He brings the passion of a 24 year-old Bulls fan in his articles. Marco resides in the Chicago suburbs. You can follow him at @mradenkovich.
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