Orlando Magic Acquire Shabazz Napier
Some may recall that Shabazz Napier was selected by the Heat as a last ditch effort to keep LeBron James in Miami during the summer of his impending departure.
LeBron had told team officials and the media that he thought Napier was a great player and would love to play with him. In an effort to appease the King, the Heat did what he asked.
In the end, it didn’t matter as LeBron left Miami to go home to Cleveland. So in the end, it’s entirely possible that the Heat never wanted Napier and that’s why they’re trading him for nothing more than a second round pick.
Sure, Napier hasn’t done anything in the NBA that would lead anyone to believe that he was worth much. However, he does still hold loads of potential in the eyes of many. For a team that has a young developing core like the Magic, this deal was a no brainer.
In 51 games last season, Napier averaged 9.1 points and 2.5 assists per game while playing around 20 minutes per contest. He shot 38 percent from the field, which was indeed troubling.
However, after improving his play in this year’s NBA Summer League, he looks like he may be an improved shooter and all-around floor general next season.
The Magic will be starting Elfrid Payton at point this season and although he’s a solid player, his potential is somewhat limited. There is no doubt that the Magic have brought in Napier with hopes that he can develop into a player that will push Payton to his limits.
However, Payton is also three years younger than Napier, so he has much more time to develop.
This will be an interesting dynamic to watch throughout camp and the preseason. Napier could either burst onto the scene or do nothing more than match his second round trade value.