Heat Pursuing PG Shabazz Napier: Report - NBC 6 South Florida

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Heat Pursuing PG Shabazz Napier: Report



    Heat Pursuing PG Shabazz Napier: Report
    Getty Images
    ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 07: Shabazz Napier #13 of the Connecticut Huskies celebrates on the court after defeating the Kentucky Wildcats 60-54 in the NCAA Men's Final Four Championship at AT&T Stadium on April 7, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

    Point guard Norris Cole is the only player under a guaranteed contract with the Heat right now. But he may be on the way out in favor of rookie Shabazz Napier based on a report from ESPN’s Chad Ford.

    According to ESPN, the Heat is trying to move up in the upcoming NBA draft to select University of Connecticut point guard Shabazz Napier. Both the Heat and superstar free agent LeBron James have spoken fondly of Napier and his game.

    During the NCAA championship game in March, LeBron tweeted, “No way u take a PG in the lottery before Napier.”

    Napier’s stock has been rising fast ahead of Thursday’s NBA draft. In early mock drafts, the dynamic point guard looked like he would be available when the Heat picks at 26th in the first round. Since then, mock drafts and reports have sent his stock to the mid-to-high teens.

    The problem for the Heat is they don’t have much to offer a team in a trade to move up in the draft. The Heat can offer Cole, the 26th pick, and then a 2016 first round pick if the team wanted to sweeten the deal to get Napier, which may be the plan.

    According to ESPN, the UConn guard was reportedly worked out by Heat president Pat Riley and the team tried to convince him to stop his workouts so he could fall to the Heat. Napier fits Riley’s preferences for a draft pick, four-year senior, can contribute immediately, and in Napier’s case, is a two-time collegiate champion.

    If the Heat shipped Cole out to add Napier, the team may be setting up to re-sign LeBron James and make further moves to get younger and more athletic in pursuit of a third NBA championship and fifth straight NBA Finals appearance.

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