Depending on what happens this offseason, the Chicago Bulls may have a very big need at the point guard position and if that’s the case, there is no one better to fill in than Connecticut guard Shabazz Napier.
Napier, the driving force behind the Huskies’ run to the 2014 NCAA national championship, is a 6-foot-1, 180-pound point guard who would fit perfectly with the Bulls. Despite his small stature, Napier is tough as nails. Most know him for his scoring abilities, and make no mistake — he is a very talented offensive player, averaging 18.1 PPG for the Huskies as a senior, shooting 42.9 percent from the field and 40.5 percent from beyond the arc.
However, Napier is much more than just a scorer as he also averaged 5.9 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game last season, proving he can get it done on both ends of the floor. The Bulls, who own two picks in the first round of the 2014 NBA Draft at 16th and 19th, would be wise to target Napier with the second of those two picks.
For starters, we all know about the injury issues surrounding Chicago’s star point guard Derrick Rose, who has missed the majority of the last two seasons due to injury. After missing the entire 2013-14 NBA season, Rose played only 10 games last season, leaving the Bulls with nothing but Kirk Hinrich and D.J. Augustin at the PG position. The combination of Hinrich and Augustin was good enough to get the Bulls to the playoffs, but with both players headed to free agency this offseason, their return is in question.
Chicago would certainly like to bring back either, if not both, but with the Bulls expected pursuit of Carmelo Anthony, nothing is guaranteed. When all is said and done, there may not be enough money to bring either back to Chicago unless they are willing to accept a deal for the veteran’s minimum.
That is why Napier is a perfect fit for Chicago. He has the toughness and defensive prowess head coach Tom Thibodeau will love, while also adding a dynamic scoring element as a dependable backup point guard that the Bulls desperately need.
It’s a win-win for both sides, so don’t be surprised to hear Chicago call the Napier’s name on draft night, it’s a pick that just makes too much sense not to happen.