Whether it was simply the advice of cautious agents or unfortunate injuries, there weren't many potential lottery picks who were willing to put themselves on display at the 2013 NBA Draft Combine. UCLA guard Shabazz Muhammad was one.

Muhammad was probably the highest-rated player in this year's draft to be on the floor on Thursday in competitive drills at Harrison Street Athletic Facility.

I asked Muhammad's agent, Bill Duffy, whether he had advised his client not to participate. It's a common strategy taken by those advising players who have firmed up their position in the lottery and don't want to risk looking bad with a poor performance against lesser players in drills.

"No, it wasn't an option really," Duffy said. "Shabazz wanted to play all along, that's just the kind of player he is."

Put the question of skipping the combine drills to Muhammad himself, and he said he would not have sat out, no matter who told him it might be a good idea.

Muhammad didn't shoot particularly well, but the fact that he was out there earned him kudos in the eyes of front-office execs.

"If Duff would hold me back, no, I want to play," Muhammad said. "Some of these guys don't want to play, but I want to compete. Even if some of these guys I am going against aren't in the lottery, I want to go out and show I play hard. I play harder than everybody else. That's what I think everybody should prove.

"I don't care if I am the No. 1 pick, I would still come out here. I am a competitor. That's one thing I want to do is compete. I don't think I shot it well today but I think I worked really hard, and at the end of the day, you can't control your shooting. If you work really hard, everything will fall."

Of course, Muhammad is entering this draft period with something to prove. He entered the 2012-13 college season as a potential No. 1 pick, but after a so-so year — he averaged 17.9 points on 44.3 percent shooting, and the Bruins were eliminated in the first round of the NCAA Tournament — his stock has fallen and many scouts consider him a late lottery player.