LeBron Gets His Wish as Heat Acquire Shabazz Napier | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Thursday / June 20.
  • LeBron Gets His Wish as Heat Acquire Shabazz Napier

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    NapierBy JOSH NEWMAN
    Special to ZAGSBLOG

    NEW YORK – LeBron James got his wish on Thursday evening and it had nothing to do with his looming free agency.

    After Shabazz Napier led Connecticut to a second national championship in four seasons on April 7 — setting himself apart from Kemba Walker and previous UConn guards with his second championship — James tweeted ‘No way u take another PG in the lottery before Napier.’

    If James re-signs with the Heat this summer, the two will be teammates.

    The Charlotte Hornets selected Napier with the 24th overall pick, then immediately traded his rights to the Heat for the 26th pick, 55th pick and a future second-round selection. The Heat used that 26th pick on former North Carolina shooting guard P.J. Hairston, who averaged 21.8 points in 26 games for the D-League’s Texas Legends last season.

    After news of the trade broke, James tweeted, ‘My favorite player in the draft! #Napier’

    “My agent (Rob Pelinka) told me he tweeted something out about me just now,” Napier said. “It’s just something special to know that one of the best players in the world thinks about you and appreciates your talent. That’s something I’m so humble for.”

    ESPN reported on Wednesday that after the NBA Finals finished up, team president Pat Riley flew out to put Napier through a workout,  then tried to convince him to stop his workouts so that he’d fall to the Heat at No. 26.

    With Napier in the mix, the futures of Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole are in doubt. Chalmers will be an unrestricted free agent beginning July 1, while Cole is due $2.15 million in the final year of his contract.

    “There’s always opportunity to do something great, and no matter if I was going to slide in as a starter or come off the bench, I’m still going to work hard,” Napier said. “I’m going to compete, that’s who I am.”

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