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Napier Targeted By Chicago, Portland As Deadline Nears
Thursday, Feb. 18
Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports the two teams are actively involved in trade discussions surrounding the reserve guard. It's unclear how close an agreement could be. Vincent Goodwill of CSN Chicago noted point guard Aaron Brooks would be involved in the deal.
Napier's Struggles Haven't Erased Potential
Napier is still trying to find a comfort zone in the NBA. He spent his rookie campaign with the Miami Heat, which acquired him in a draft-night deal with the Charlotte Hornets. But he lasted just one year before Miami dealt him to Orlando last July.
The former college superstar at UConn, where he won a pair of national titles, has taken on an extremely limited role with the Magic. He's averaging 4.0 points, 2.0 assists and 1.1 rebounds while playing just 12.1 minutes per night across 44 appearances.
Dom Amore of the Hartford Courant passed along comments from the guard in December about trying to establish himself at the pro level.
"Everything's different," Napier said. "You've got to start over, that's the biggest difference. You go from being on top of the world to coming down and starting over, and still having the same confidence. That's just how I am. Always a work in progress, always a process that I enjoy."
It's not a surprise to see his name pop up in the rumor mill given his limited impact with the Magic. That said, the Bulls don't seem like the best fit in terms of getting the playing time he needs with Kirk Hinrich and Aaron Brooks both on the depth chart behind Derrick Rose.
Perhaps Chicago views him as a potential spark plug off the bench, but it's hard to imagine him receiving consistent minutes unless that logjam gets cleared out following with his arrival. Eventually he's going to need a team that's going to provide him with a more extended chance to prove himself.
All told, Napier still has some untapped potential after his successful college career. Whether being involved in another trade will help him start making progress ultimately depends on where he lands, if he's moved at all before the deadline.