Knowing that LeBron James was a big supporter of the March Madness hero, the Miami Heat made a move to trade up for rookie point guard Shabazz Napier in the NBA draft.
However, James has since moved on to Cleveland and the Heat are still with Napier, who struggled throughout much of the summer league. That has led to some fans wondering who the Heat would have taken if James had made his decision to leave known before the draft.
South Florida Sun-Sentinel reporter Ira Winderman has the answer.
For those wondering about the Heat possibly having had overseas interest in the NBA Draft, the reality is that if Shabazz Napier wasn’t available, their interest was considerable in Swiss power forward Clint Capela, who this past week signed with the Houston Rockets. Capela was selected one pick ahead of the Heat’s scheduled No. 26 slot.
Capela was ranked the No. 11 overall prospect by DraftExpress.com, which said the 20-year-old has a ton of upside.
Capela’s length, explosiveness, and touch around the hoop make him a very good finisher around the hoop, where an incredible 84.9% of his opportunities came from, far and away the most out of anybody in this group.
The work he still needs to put in shows up when Capela stepped away from the hoop, as he only attempted 0.3 jump shots per game, connecting on only 21.4% of the very small amount of jump shots he attempted. Despite this, Capela shows some potential in the pick and roll game due to his fluidity and touch around the hoop, and should he ever develop a reliable jump shot he will be even tougher players to defend in this group crashing to the rim after setting ball screens.
Capela’s energy and athleticism would have fit right in for the Heat, and could have given the team more depth in the front court–something they are still lacking. Instead, Miami has Napier and arguably too many players at the point guard position, leading to trade rumors regarding Norris Cole.
It’s too early to say anything was a mistake, but it’s interesting to see where Miami was headed should they not have been able to trade with Charlotte for Napier.