NBA Chicago Bulls

Chicago Bulls Should Target Shabazz Napier in the 2014 NBA Draft

Shabazz Napier

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bulls have the talent to win an NBA Championship, but to do that the Bulls need Derrick Rose to stay healthy. Unfortunately, Rose has suffered season-ending knee injuries in the past two years and questions have risen if he will ever be the same player again. In Rose’s absence, the Bulls have relied on players like Kirk Hinrich, Nate Robinson and D.J. Augustin. While those players have exceeded expectations, the Bulls should look to the 2014 NBA Draft to find a new reliable backup. That player should be ConnecticutShabazz Napier.

In 2011, Napier was a key role player off the bench for the Huskies when they won their third national championship. But it wasn’t until his junior season where Napier became the player many thought he could become. In that season, which was the season Connecticut was banned from postseason play, Napier averaged 17 points and five rebounds per game.

Instead of declaring for the 2013 NBA Draft, Napier elected to stay for his senior season and that’s where he flourished. In that season, Napier was easily one of the best players in college basketball and his averages 18 points per game, five assists per game and six rebounds per game provided proof of that logic. To explain how much he meant to his team, Napier led the team in points, rebounds, assists and steals.

Although he is small at 6-foot-1, Napier rises to the challenge when called upon. He guided this team to a National Championship in his senior year. If there is one player in this draft class that lives for the moment, it is Napier. Whenever the Huskies needed a big shot or a go-ahead shot, Napier was always there to answer. The Bulls could use Napier as a spark plug off the bench, but he could be perfect in their starting lineup if Rose goes down with an injury. Napier shot over 40 percent from deep last year and the Bulls need three-point shooting. Napier to the Bulls would be a match made in heaven.

Ryan Ratty is a columnist for Follow him on Twitter @RyanRattyNFL or add him to your network on Google.