The Charlotte Hornets selected Shabazz Napier at No. 24, but will trade the UConn point guard to the Miami Heat for draft picks, according to ESPN.
Heat will trade No. 26, No. 55 and a future 2nd to the Hornets for Shabazz Napier
— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) June 27, 2014
Many Heat fans clamored for the team to choose Napier, anointing him as the replacement for fan-piñata Mario Chalmers.
It was thought that the Heat would have to trade up for the explosive point guard in a deal including Norris Cole, but they pulled off a deal involving picks, most likely because Napier slid in the draft.
Our own Ross Gottschalk had this to say in his draft profile on Napier.
From an intangibles standpoint, Shabazz Napier is a great fit with the Heat. He’s ready to play right away in the NBA, and we know after this past March that he’s not afraid of big situations. And um, lets just say that, free agency wise, Mario Chalmers didn’t help his own cause this postseason, so point guard is definitely an area where Miami will try to improve over the offseason.
From a skills standpoint, Shabazz and the Heat are close, but not exactly a perfect match. One of the biggest difference between this season’s Heat team and previous years’ was a dip in their perimeter defense. Shabazz isn’t there yet defensively, but he has the physical tools to become a solid defender if he wants to be. Offensively, Napier obviously wouldn’t have to carry the same burden that he did with the Huskies. He can play without it, but Shabazz is really most comfortable with the ball in his hands. Napier will most likely become a combo guard in the NBA.
Miami chose former North Carolina guard and D-League prospect P.J. Hairston, who will be sent to Charlotte in the deal. The Heat will pick for the Hornets at No. 55 overall in the second round.