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Report: Shabazz Napier traded to Miami after being drafted by Charlotte, Hornets get P.J. Hairston

Jun 26, 2014, 10:31 PM EDT

Shabazz Napier Shabazz Napier

See LeBron, we really do care what you think!

LeBron James tweeted during the NCAA Finals that there was no better point guard in the draft than UConn’s Shabazz Napier. The Miami Heat could use another backup point guard, unless you thought Norris Cole was good during the playoffs. (And if you thought Norris Cole was good during the playoffs, I’m worried about you.)

Napier was selected by the Charlotte Hornets at No. 24 but will be traded almost instantly to the Miami Heat for the No. 26 pick in this draft, the No. 55 pick and a future second rounder, something first reported by Brian Windhorst of ESPN and confirmed by multiple sources.

With the 26 pick the Bobcats get P.J. Hairston, the former North Carolina player who spent last season in the D-League and scored 20 points a game. He has great three point range and with his experience can step in and play immediately.

LeBron may love Napier, NBA scouts… not so much.

Most see him as a solid second string NBA point guard, albeit one who can step into that role next season for the Heat.

He scores well in isolation or off the pick-and-roll, and is generally good shooter who can create space for himself. He’s undersized but plays tough defense.

But if he wants to see the court his decision making has to be more consistent — remember Andre Drummond and Jeremy Lamb looked pedestrian with Napier getting them the ball. Napier is going to have more athletic guys guarding him and that’s going to be an adjustment.

  1. Mr. Wright 212 - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:33 PM

    PJ is legit, but WHY help Miami by sending the best PG in the draft there???

    • dacapt704 - Jun 27, 2014 at 9:30 AM

      Who Marcus Smart? He was the best PG in the draft…minus the tourney run, Napier wouldn’t be mentioned in that sentence. Besides we don’t need another PG here in Charlotte

      • realfootballfan - Jun 27, 2014 at 2:54 PM

        You must not have been paying attention besides in the tournament. Napier is the truth and has been. Besides his size, he wouldn’t have fallen so far, but dude is legit, especially on at top heavy team like the Heat. This is who Indiana should have been trying to get their hands on to close the gap with them.

  2. soflasfinest - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:39 PM

    Thanks Charlotte! Wink.

  3. remyje - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:40 PM

    Shabazz is going to struggle and it’s going to be Lebron’s fault. I can’t wait….

    • sportsfan18 - Jun 26, 2014 at 11:47 PM

      yep… dude sucks…

      • trevor123698 - Jun 27, 2014 at 1:20 AM

        you people are morons. shabazz napier is an ice cold killer

      • sportsfan18 - Jun 27, 2014 at 7:46 AM

        Shabazz was a GREAT college player…

        he is NO longer playing in college and he’ll be a backup… or if they start him, a bad starting guard

        mind you, I LIKE this because I don’t like the Heat…

      • sportsfan18 - Jun 27, 2014 at 7:51 AM

        Ice Cold Killer huh?

        Here are the Field Goal percentages for Shabazz for each of his 4 seasons in college

        .370
        .389
        .441
        .429

        career field goal percentage in college .411% Killer alright…

        Mario Chalmers hit a BIG shot in the national championship game in college you know.

        Here is how Mario shot in college…

        44.5
        49.1
        51.6

        career 48.5% field goal percentage in college…

        ya’ll have fun with the ice cold killer…

      • heat256 - Jun 27, 2014 at 10:31 AM

        @ Sportsfan,

        By that metric, do you expect Chalmers to command a great deal then? No, because college doesn’t always become the exact indicator of how a player translates to the pros. It’s a crapshoot, at best. No one knows how any of these picks will turn out, but pointing to shooting pct and automatically saying a player isn’t good kinda shows you don’t put much thought into your statements. Did you proclaim Michael Beasley the next best thing based on his college numbers? I hope not, because that dude fizzled out.

      • antistratfordian - Jun 27, 2014 at 1:44 PM

        He might eventually… but for now he’s basically everything the Heat are looking for in a point guard. The first two PGs taken (Exum and Smart) couldn’t even check all the boxes for Miami because they can’t shoot threes.

      • antistratfordian - Jun 27, 2014 at 2:04 PM

        @sportsfan18 – Napier is a more dynamic offensive player than both Chalmers and Cole, and a much more natural (and willing) scorer than Chalmers ever was. He’s super shifty and has better handles than both Cole and Chalmers – better vision than both – and he’s a capable defender. On top of that he’s a good three point shooter. He’s also fearless and displayed stat stuffing ability as a senior – a nightly triple double threat even at 6’1.

        Solid pick for the Heat – to say nothing of the fact that it also put a smile on the face of the most important free agent in history – which is probably the most important thing – so that actually makes it a fantastic pick for the Heat. A+ grade for Miami.

  4. kinggw - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:42 PM

    The best part of this trade is that it made Simmons break out into a hissy fit after it was announced.

    • miamatt - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:45 PM

      He sounded like a Scooby-Doo villian. “I would have gotten away with it too, if it wasn’t for them meddling Heat!”

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Jun 26, 2014 at 11:27 PM

      He was right to be upset. This is collusion.

      • heat256 - Jun 27, 2014 at 10:33 AM

        I’d say the Knicks trade with the Mavs should count as collusion too. Who in their right mind would trade for fatboy Felton’s contract?

  5. miamatt - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:42 PM

    Good get for the Heat at this stage of the draft. Should be able to step into the rotation immediately. Chalmers and Cole have been a big part of this Miami run, but their play this postseason begged for an upgrade. Maybe Napier can be just that.

    Can’t hurt that he’s LeBron’s “favorite player in the draft.”

    • sportsfan18 - Jun 26, 2014 at 11:48 PM

      i hope they give him starter’s minutes… he sucks

      • kevindoc593 - Jun 26, 2014 at 11:54 PM

        no bud, you suck.

  6. antistratfordian - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:47 PM

    Can’t ask for more than getting the guy you wanted. Now whether Napier turns out to be a good NBA player another thing – but if this makes LeBron feel more comfortable then it’s a big win for Miami.

  7. kingperk123 - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:49 PM

    Sounds like James is staying with the heat

    • balsagna - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:55 PM

      You really think a rookie point guard picked in the 20s is going to be what sways Lebron? Color me skeptical.

      • ranfan12 - Jun 26, 2014 at 11:57 PM

        i thought it was more of lebron sorta clearing a little smoke about him not leaving miami lol. anything can still happen

  8. ProBasketballPundit - Jun 26, 2014 at 11:14 PM

    I’m happy with the Hornets picks. Vonleh over McDermott and Hairston seem like good picks. And picking up a couple second rounders is nice too… probably as tradebait.

  9. turnmymicup - Jun 27, 2014 at 1:25 AM

    A lot of the scouts didn’t like him but I disagree. Scouts didnt get things right ALL the time. His game is solid. Kind of plays with a fearless attitude that I like. Makes good decisions with the ball. IF LeBron stays and shows Shabaz the ropes watch out.

  10. campcouch - Jun 27, 2014 at 2:16 AM

    Knee jerk reaction. Napier should be drafted no doubt,but the Heat don’t need a PG,they need somebody inside that doesn’t drift out for threes. Heck,even Early would’ve worked to give him some rest. But if Shabazz Napier keeps LeBron in Miami,then it’s a good trade for Riles.

    • progress2011 - Jun 27, 2014 at 6:55 AM

      Camp,

      I agree, the Heat definitely need someone on the inside, to grab a few boards….The Heat can no longer overcome getting out rebounded by 20 boards….every game!

      BUT the Heat certainly need a PG because with Wade only having one leg, Most “Ball Handling” is handled by LBJ (bring the ball up, set up the offense).

      Cole- dribbles like a crab and I’m certain he carries the ball most times but it’s not called.
      Chalmers – is so slow, he can’t turn the corner on most slower forwards, let alone a PG.

      Neither (cole or chalmers) have the handles or vision to set up an offense on a consistent basis…which is typically the job of the PG.

      LBJ should get Napier in the gym “NEXT WEEK” to build his body into NBA form, to get him ready for the season.

      This was a good pick-up…..now they will have to address the weakness in the middle.

      • deeballer - Jun 27, 2014 at 7:36 AM

        Yes, his name is Marcin Gortat and he would fit beautifully in the Heat lineup. He’ll come at a pretty decent price for a free agent, but that’s why all 3 are going to opt out to make it happen. Well, at least that would be the ideal scenario for the Heat.

      • realfootballfan - Jun 27, 2014 at 3:01 PM

        They didn’t get beat because of their rebounding, they got beat because of their offense. Napier should help that, and he fits into their defensive style because he’s coming from college with that mentality already.

    • calkinsrob - Jun 27, 2014 at 11:29 AM

      Did you see chalmers in the finals!?? the heat need a pg haha

  11. davidly - Jun 27, 2014 at 4:17 AM

    Ha. Metaphors abound. Wouldn’t be hilar if this was LBJ unloading in Riles’ nether tunnel for the his having the gall to question his resolve in public; and then he’ll announce that he’s taking his talents elsewhere, which’d be him wiping the last pearl off in Riles’ dapper do.

  12. irvness21 - Jun 27, 2014 at 10:19 AM

    deeballer

    Gortat is not leaving DC. He likes being a HUGE part of the team around Wall and Beal. Nene only has max 2 years left and thats pushing it. Gortat is in line for a huge payday from the Wizards.

  13. c2poke88 - Jun 27, 2014 at 11:41 AM

    Napier was a great get for Miami no matter what the scouts think. There have been hundreds of lottery picks branded as ‘cant-miss’ franchise players by scouts, that ended up being busts. Most scouts may not be sold on Napier, but here’s the thing. Most scouts felt the same way about Rondo (21st pick), Sam Cassell (24th pick), Dennis Rodman (27th pick), Tony Parker (28th pick), Rashard Lewis (32nd pick), Boozer (35th pick), Ginobili (57th pick), Ben Wallace (undrafted), and many others over the years.

  14. scg84 - Jun 27, 2014 at 12:20 PM

    Charlotte didn’t “help” Miami. Napier would’ve fallen to Miami at 26 anyway, so all the Hornets did was pick up extra assets and get their guy for a few bucks less. More like they fleeced Miami.

  15. rkb555 - Jun 28, 2014 at 10:11 AM

    I think miami needed a big man in the middle who can bang and play solid d more than a guard.Miami could’ve traded and gotten a guard. It’s harder to do so with quality big guys.

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