The Miami Heat officially signed rookie Shabazz Napier, the team announced. Napier was acquired via a draft night trade and is expected to sign a three-year deal worth about $1.2 million the first year.
“Shabazz is a proven winner and one of the most mature college players that I have ever met,” said Heat President Pat Riley in a statement. “Not only did he help lead UConn to two NCAA Championships, but he also knows exactly what he needs to do to make an impact at the NBA level. I believe the experience he had during the Summer League is going to payoff in leaps and bounds when training camp begins.”
Napier will compete with Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole for playing time. Napier is probably the best raw scorer of the three, but has been somewhat of a volume shooter more than a manager of the offense so far in Summer League.
Napier could see time at shooting guard, should the Heat run some two point guard lineups.
From the press release:
Napier, a two-time NCAA Champion, appeared in 143 career games (98 starts) at the University of Connecticut and averaged 13.7 points, 4.5 assists, 4.0 rebounds, 1.76 steals and 32.3 minutes while shooting 41.1 percent from the field, 37.5 percent from three-point range and 81.3 percent from the foul line. He capped his collegiate career with 1,959 points and 646 assists, becoming the only player in school history to total at least 1,500 career points and 500 career assists. Among the Huskies all-time leaders, he finished first in games played and free throws made (509), second in steals (251) and three-point field goals made (260), third in assists and steals per game, fourth in points, 10th in free throw percentage and 11th in field goals made (595).
Last season at UConn, Napier appeared in 40 games (all starts) and averaged 18.0 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.83 steals and 35.1 minutes while shooting 42.9 percent from the field, 40.5 percent from three-point range and 87 percent from the foul line. He was named the 2014 American Athletic Conference Player of the Year and the 2014 Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year as well as being voted a member of both the All-Conference and AP All-American First Teams. Additionally, he earned both the Final Four and East Regional Most Outstanding Player honors while averaging 21.2 points during the NCAA tournament.
Napier was acquired by the HEAT in a draft night trade after being originally selected in the first round (24th overall) by the Charlotte Hornets in the 2014 NBA Draft.