Shabazz Napier Reportedly Traded Because Heat Didn’t Believe He Was ‘Good Enough’

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during the Opening night game at American Airlines Arena on October 29, 2014 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory copyright notice:

To the surprise of many, second-year guard Shabazz Napier was traded over the weekend to the Orlando Magic for essentially nothing. Now we may know why that may have been the case.

According to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald, Napier was traded for just a second-round draft pick because the Heat “didn’t believe in him.” The exact reason is specified in the following quote:

“One NBA general manager who spoke to the Heat said Heat brass realized Shabazz Napier ‘was not good enough. At that size (6-1), you have to be really quick or a very good shooter, and he’s neither.’”

While it was obvious that the Miami Heat were trying to cut salary to avoid heavy fines for being over the luxury tax line, Napier was only due to earn roughly $1.3 million for the 2015-16 season.

The 6’1″ guard was selected with the 24th overall pick by the Charlotte Hornets in the 2014 NBA Draft, only to be traded to the Heat on draft night.

When Miami acquired Napier, it was with the expectation that he’d be the team’s future franchise point guard. Obviously, this was before LeBron James made the decision to return to Cleveland and before the Heat acquired Goran Dragic at the trade deadline this past February. James had stated on draft night that Napier was his favorite player in the draft.

Dragic signed a multi-year deal with the Heat this offseason, meaning Napier’s best bet was to be the Heat’s top backup at point.

The University of Connecticut product struggled during his lone season in Miami, scoring just 5.1 points per game on 38.2 percent shooting from the field.  He bounced in and out of the D-League on a couple of occasions last season.
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D.J. Siddiqi grew up in the heart of South Florida in Broward County. Growing up in South Florida during the late 90's and 2000's, D.J. witnessed the Pat Riley years where the Miami Heat faced off with the New York Knicks all the way to the painful late 2000's seasons where the Heat were a one-man team with Dwyane Wade. D.J. has closely followed the Heat over the past decade-and-a-half, and unfortunately witnessed Game 2 of the 2011 NBA Finals in person when the Dallas Mavericks overcame a 15-point deficit to knock off the Heat. D.J. has writing experience as a columnist with sites such as Bleacher Report and Rant Sports, and he is proud to bring his knowledge of the Heat and the NBA to Heat Nation.