(Photo Credit: www.huffingtonpost.com)
As we close in on the 2014 NBA Draft, fans from around the league want to know who their favorite teams are going to target come Thursday night. For the Miami Heat, the answer to that question seems to be Shabazz Napier.
Napier, a point guard out of UConn, is exactly the type of player Heat president Pat Riley likes to have on his team. Having played all four years during his college days, Napier is already set to transition into the pros, having spent enough time mastering the game and perfecting his craft. He has won two national championships in 2011 and 2014, the latter in which he was named both American Athletic Conference Player of the Year and the tournament’s most outstanding player. He averaged 18 points and 5.8 rebounds this past season, gradually improving each year.
In fact, reports allege that Riley flew to work Napier out, trying to convince the Huskies talent to stop training so that he would fall in rankings as Miami has the No. 26 pick. Unfortunately, this is near impossible as teams like the Orlando Magic (No. 12), the Atlanta Hawks (No. 15), the Chicago Bulls (No. 16) and so on are all considering drafting Napier.
Riley would not be the only one impressed with Napier’s efforts however; this past April, LeBron James himself tweeted “No way u take a PG in the lottery before Napier.”
It is unlikely that the Heat will be able to move up in the draft either, with only the 26th pick and Norris Cole to offer. And getting rid of Cole would be a huge mistake. The team does not even have a first-round pick from next season to give, as the Cleveland Cavaliers have Miami’s if it falls between 11-30.
But having put all of this on the table, with James having just opted out of his contract, and everyone still waiting on news from Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, truth be told, the draft may not even be too high on the Heat’s radar currently.
Tune into ESPN at 6 p.m. CT to catch all the happenings of the 2014 NBA draft.