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Around the NBA: Shams new home, Monroe signs with Raptors, Shabazz to Bucks

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Touching on the news around the league

NBA: Boston Celtics at Toronto Raptors John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Shams Charania joins The Athletic

When it comes to NBA reporters, this is as an impactful move as it gets. The Athletic is pushing hard to become the primo sports media outlet, and landing Shams is like the Lakers scoring LBJ. Or is Woj LBJ? If so, then The Athletic landed their Durant.

The Athletic turned me off a bit when co-founder Alex Mather said in a New York Times interview, “We will wait every local paper out and let them continuously bleed until we are the last ones standing. We will suck them dry of their best talent at every moment. We will make business extremely difficult for them.” And then his soldiers joined in a battle cry, as Ghengis Khan marched forward, ready to confront the Jin Dynasty on the battlefield.

But those comments aside, The Athletic has so many accomplished writers and puts out tremendous work. Their Philadelphia sports coverage alone includes a host of talented writers, like Liberty Ballers’ alumni Derek Bodner and Rich Hofmann. And The Athletic is gaining ground on other national platforms like Yahoo! and ESPN. Acquiring Shams Charania is a massive haul, and it is a seismic shift in the NBA coverage landscape. I thought for a moment Shams might just jump over to his mentor’s (Woj) outlet at ESPN. I’m happy to learn that he didn’t because the constant jockeying for scoops between the two is much funner for Twitter.

Greg Monroe is joining the Raptors

Greg Monroe has bounced around a bit the last few seasons. After starting his career in Detroit, Monroe signed with Milwaukee in the 2015 offseason. Then when Eric Bledsoe had a falling out with Phoenix and ended up on the trade block, the Bucks moved Monroe to acquire Bledsoe, making Monroe a Sun. His stint in Phoenix didn’t last long though, as he was waived on Feb. 1st, 2018. The Boston Celtics jumped at the opportunity to add depth to their front line, and signed Monroe for the remainder of the 2018 season. Which takes us to now:

Toronto Raptors

During his time in Boston, Monroe averaged 10.2 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 2.3 apg and 1.8 stocks per game on an average of 19.1 minutes. I’m not a fan of Monroe’s game, but I assume this is just a depth move for Toronto to get through the regular season.

Bucks sign Shabazz Muhammad

Former 14th overall pick Shabazz Muhammad has agreed to sign with the Milwaukee Bucks, according to Shams Charania:

Remember when Shabazz was considered by some as the number one high school recruit in the entire nation? (#1 by Rivals.com, #2 by ESPN and Scout.com.) His NBA career hasn’t gone quite as expected for those who saw enormous potential in Shabazz. Now he’s the free agent equivalent of leftover takeout. Muhammad was waived by the Timberwolves this past season (March 1st, 2018), and scooped up by the Bucks just three days later. It was unclear for a while whether or not the Bucks would try to retain him this offseason, and now we have our answer.

In his 11 games with the Bucks after being waived by the T-Wolves, Muhammad averaged just 10.6 mpg, scoring 8.6 ppg to go along with 2.8 rpg. I doubt the Bucks expect much of Shabazz next season and would think they plan to utilize him as depth on the bench. Low risk, lost cost move, one would assume.

Carmelo joining Houston

We’ve expected this for a while now, and it’s finally happening. From Woj:

Don’t like this move for Houston, but I get it. Their window is shrinking. Adding Carmelo adds variance and— ooh, wait a second. I think I just heard Steph Curry lock the window shut.