Apr 7, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Shabazz Napier (13) celebrate after defeating the Kentucky Wildcats 60-54 in the championship game of the Final Four in the 2014 NCAA Mens Division I Championship tournament at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Ball in LeBron's Court As Heat Honor Promise, Trade Up To Draft Napier

So here we stand in the 2014 NBA Draft, and the stressful night is over for the Heat organization and its fans.

This journey started the night of UCONN’s 2014 NCAA Championship, when LeBron praised Napier for his dominance in the tournament.

Upon reading this, I turned to some friends and half-joked: “Guys, the Heat are gonna draft him, guaranteed”.

Of course, in that moment that’s all it was.  A hope. An impossible dream.

Fast-Forward two months to a world where Miami loses in five games to the San Antonio Spurs and suddenly everybody is calling The Decision Pt. 2 to occur and LeBron to take his talents out of South Beach…

(Later this week, I’ll go into detail about the King’s future, but for now will keep the attention on his favorite player in this year’s draft.)

…then the world turns upside down when LeBron opts-out of his deal (this is smart for many and was expected by most of the organization).

Thanks to all of this, Miami realizes they have to do the best things possible in the off-season to keep the King.

Drafting Napier made the most sense, but Miami had to hope the former Huskie would fall to #26.

As the night wore on, Miami did everything they could including trying to trade with Utah for their 23rd pick.

The Jazz said no dice.

Then, a sense of fear entered my mind.

The Charlotte Hornets had the 25th Pick…

Why would Michael Jordan, the owner of the then-bobcats team that got swept by the Heat…who are led by the one player that has been compared to His Airness since he was playing in Akron, OH…help the Miami Heat.

Continuing to search through Twitter, hoping to see a name other than Shabazz drafted by the Hornets.

Unfortunately, the dream was shattered, my heart was broken, and the Pacers friendly crowd in the form of my family began the heckling cheers of joy as I read these words.

That was it. Napier was off the board, and I literally had no idea about who the Heat would take (let alone LeBron’s future).

Sometimes though, just when you think something is set in stone, you get hit with a surprise.

No….could it be….is it possible?

YES! They did it! I don’t know how, but they did it!

And of course, here’s how they did it.

Are you kidding me? When people asked me what Miami would trade to move up, I said two first round picks because this was probably the ONLY draft to give up 2 first rounder in.

Of course everybody was excited about this, as most are about all Heat news.

No the correct words are You Rock, Jordan! This was an absolute steal. The end result, is why this pick is so significant for the Heat.

I’ll never know why Jordan tore away the Huskie reunion of Kemba and Napier, but quite frankly I don’t care, because the Heat achieved their goal:

They have Napier, and the King is happy.

The 2014 LeBron Free Agency Adventure continues, and while only time will tell if the King remains in South Beach (again look for my post later this week) but one thing is for certain:

A 2014 Champion resides in South Beach.

Welcome Shabazz.

Apr 7, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Shabazz Napier (13) holds the national championship trophy after defeating the Kentucky Wildcats in the championship game of the Final Four in the 2014 NCAA Mens Division I Championship tournament at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Tags: 2014 NBA Draft Feature Lebron James Miami Heat Shabazz Napier

  • Real M-Fing talk !!!

    Yes because Shabazz was the missing piece who kept the heat from winning this year… SMDH !!!
    you should be asking why has the so called heart of the Miami heat not opt out yet? along with the Dinosaur hatchling… then Miami needs to persuade Wade he would best help the team coming off the bench and Riley still needs to address the bench, a swingman and some inside help… and names like Perkins, Sessions, Bayless wont get it done… after all those have been addressed then Lebron would be wrong if he left !!!

    • disqus_atlq8Zmtsd

      Why opt out before the deadline? Wait until you see what the Heat decide to do. Waiting to opt out leaves you will all the freedom of opting out as well as the option to opt in.

      James has a unique position in that he is negotiating from a position of power no matter if he wants to take a pay cut, stay in Miami for 5 years, stay in Miami for two years, leave to go play in Europe, or sign a one year contract.

      Whatever he decides to do teams would try to cater to him. That is not the case for Wade and Bosh. If Arison poneys up and Riley lines up some solid free agency signings, then you make your decision on opting out.