Why the Miami Heat want Shabazz Napier

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The shabbiest position on the Miami Heat roster is point guard. The Heat have made do with two above-average second string point guards, Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole. After this most recent finals loss the cat is out of the bag: without a point guard Miami’s offense can become one dimensional.

When Dwyane Wade had more pep in his step, the offense didn’t need a designated distributor. The Heat relied on the sheer force of talent to get players open. It worked; two championships in three years and four consecutive finals appearances is testament to the level of offensive talent.

Now some players are starting to lose a step, the Heat are going to have to rely on more traditional player roles. Looking at last year’s roster, the Heat rely heavily on James’ versatility, too heavily. Many games James was the primary ball distributor. To put that another way; Miami’s top scorer is the team’s primary ball distributor.

Shouldn’t the team’s (arguably the league’s) best scorer be set up by the offensive scheme and role players?

News today of LeBron pushing Miami to make the necessary moves to reach and pick Shabazz Napier in tomorrow’s NBA draft say James too thinks the Heat need to have a starting quality point guard to be continually competitive.

James mentioned a few months ago there isn’t a point guard he would take before Shabazz Napier. Rumors today suggest Pat Riley may have had an eye on Napier even before the 2013-2014 NBA season was over. Sources told ESPN that Riley flew to workout Shabazz and after being impressed by the workout, Riley tried to convince Napier to sandbag or stop his future workouts so that he would fall to the Heat at the twenty-sixth pick of the draft.

Draft day is almost upon us and the Heat’s ploy seems to have failed, as rumors are swirling that the Heat are trying to move up to have a better chance of drafting Shabazz.

The biggest kink in Miami’s plans is a lack of trade assets. The Heat have three trade assets: their first (#26) and second (#54) round draft picks and point guard Norris Cole. To trade for Napier the Heat will likely have to trade all three of their assets. Even with all three of their assets on the table there are only a couple of possible suitors.

The two most likely teams to deal with Miami are the Chicago Bulls who have the number sixteen and nineteen picks and the Phoenix Suns who have the number fourteen and eighteen pick.

NBA Draft
Miami Heat
LeBron James

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