On the heels of falling short of a three-peat against the NBA champion San Antonio Spurs, the Miami Heat traded with the Charlotte Hornets for Shabazz Napier, the 24th pick in the 2014 NBA draft.
The event's official account confirmed the deal:
Brian Windhorst of ESPN notes the details of the trade on Thursday night:
Ethan J. Skolnick of Bleacher Report noted that the pick seemed like a palpable one for the Heat:
The selection of Napier comes just months after he led UConn to the 2014 NCAA championship and was named Final Four Most Outstanding Player. He was not only the floor general for the Huskies, but he also contributed offensively much the same as former Huskies star Kemba Walker.
Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports points out that he believes the former UConn guard fell much further than expected:
After coming up short in the NBA Finals, the Heat might just be one piece short of earning another title. With the acquisition of Napier, they add depth at the point guard position along with a playmaker that can impact a game with his court vision and scoring ability.
LeBron James praised the point guard earlier in the year:
He then chimed in on his thoughts of him on draft night:
With unrestricted free agent Mario Chalmers struggling in the Finals, the hope might be that Napier can replace him and be the Heat's floor general.
Josh Eberley of Dime Magazine and Skolnick pass along their thoughts on what this could mean for Chalmers:
As for what this does to the franchise, the hope is the Napier selection will serve as more persuasion to keep James in Miami. The question is: Will a rookie point guard really influence James' decision?
James might be a fan of the young player, but he's certainly not the only reason for James to make the decision to stick around. Given the core already in place, Napier has a lot to offer to an already talented team that will once again be competing for a championship next season if it keeps James.
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