Brooklyn Nets 2014 Draft Profile: Shabazz Napier
A player the Nets are rumored to like is Shabazz Napier, the point guard out of UCONN. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound Napier doesn’t have the ideal size of a point guard, but he has plenty of heart which is something you can’t measure.
The confident playmaker won national titles in both his freshman and senior seasons in college while carrying the team on his back during the latter run. He was named the most outstanding player in the tournament.
Napier is a really good three-point shooter. He improved his long-range shooting every season while at UCONN. He went from 32 percent his freshman year to over 40 percent his senior season.
Napier is projected to go mid-to-late first round, so the most ideal way to get into the area to pick him would be via trade. Maybe the Nets could trade Marcus Thornton’s expiring deal for a mid-to-late first-round pick.
Napier has a lot of fans and a lot of skeptics. His fans point out he’s fearless, can shoot and defend. His critics will point to his size and age, yet execs in the league want players to stay in school longer. I don’t get it.
The Nets should draft him because they may be in need of backup point guard if Shaun Livingston is going to walk in free agency. There are obviously other players, but Napier would be one guy who can provide instant energy and toughness off the bench.
He’s a four-year player, so his game is more polished than many of these young players in the draft. Napier is a winner and has some intangibles that can’t be taught.
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