After the Miami Heat traded-up to the 24th pick and selected Shabazz Napier in the 2014 NBA Draft, a hype-train of sorts began rolling for the young point guard out of UCONN. However, if you fast forward months later to the present, it seems like much of that hype has been replaced by skepticism. Following some poor performances in the Summer League and early preseason games, it is evident that Napier still needs time to develop and adjust to the frantic pace of NBA basketball. Often turning the ball over or hesitating with his shot, Shabazz might not be as mature with the game as we thought.
Does this mean that the Heat should cut him from our roster and send him to Sioux Falls? Absolutely not. We haven’t even hit the regular season yet, so it’s way too soon to make such a decision. However, Miami should continue to monitor Napier’s progress, and attempt to throw some early minutes his way to see if he’s capable. Coach Spoelstra has already experimented with a lineup that includes Norris Cole starting at point, Napier backing him up as our point-off-the-bench with Chalmers serving as our backup shooting guard.
Time will soon tell if Miami should worry about Shabazz Napier’s slow progression.