Norris Cole

Heat Rookie Napier Out for Season

Shabazz Napier will miss the remainder of Miami's season after hernia surgery on Wednesday

The Miami Heat will be without Shabazz Napier for the rest of the season after the rookie guard underwent sports hernia surgery on Wednesday.

Napier had only played in one of Miami's last 11 games and had missed three in a row. The team announced that the surgery was successful and the guard should be ready to go next season.

Miami's first-round pick spent some time in the NBA's Developmental League and ended up taking part in 51 NBA games this year. In his time with the Heat, Napier averaged 5.1 points and 2.5 assists in 19.8 minutes per game.

While Napier had played sparingly as of late, he had a great run of success earlier in the season. In a nine-day stretch during November, Napier scored in double digits in six consecutive contests. It had been over five years since a rookie put together a stretch like that for Miami. Michael Beasley did it in eight straight games during the 2009 season which was his rookie campaign.

When Miami acquired Goran Dragic at the trade deadline, the point guard situation was solidified for the Heat. After failed runs by both Norris Cole and Mario Chalmers, the Heat did not feel comfortable handing the reigns to a rookie. With the team still in contention, Miami brought in Dragic for more stability.

It remains to be seen if Dragic will be on Miami's roster next season. The guard has a player option for the 2015-16 season. If Dragic opts to go elsewhere, Napier could have a chance at an increased role with Miami. If Dragic stays with the Heat, Napier may still find himself with increased minutes in his second year.

The Heat are currently in seventh place in the Eastern Conference and will take on the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday.

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