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    Shabazz Muhammad arriving to replace Orlando Johnson as SMB import

    Feb 21, 2022

    FORMER NBA player Shabazz Muhammad is ultimately taking his act to the PBA.

    Not with the Meralco Bolts, though.

    Muhammad has been tapped by San Miguel Beer to be its next import in the 2021 PBA Governors Cup, replacing Orlando Johnson.

    The 29-year-old first-round pick in the 2013 NBA Draft boarded his plane on Monday and is set to arrive in the country on Tuesday morning.

    Calls and text messages made to San Miguel team manager Gee Abanilla and coach Leo Austria haven't been answered yet as of post time.


      A former Mr. USA Basketball in his senior year in high school, Muhammad was drafted by the Utah Jazz at No. 14 in the 2013 NBA draft after a season at UCLA - one spot ahead of the Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo.

      After five years in the NBA where he averaged 9 points and 2.8 rebounds in 278 games, the 6-6 forward took his act to China where he played for Shenzhen in the CBA before his stint was cut short by an ACL injury.


      Aborted Meralco stint

      Muhammad signed to play with Meralco in November 2021 but cancelled at the last minute, citing a 'family emergency.'

      He instead signed to play with Grand Rapids in the G League where he was waived last Dec. 22, making him available to play in the NBA.

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      Sources bared the two sides have reached an agreement.


        Muhammad's arrival should cut short the PBA comeback of Johnson, who, after a dismal debut, redeemed himself with a 31-point performance against former team Barangay Ginebra in the Beermen's 110-102 victory on Sunday night.

        But will it be enough to save his job? Not with a prized import like Muhammad available, apparently.

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