Two-time NCAA Champion Shabazz Napier will be playing his fifth season in the NBA as a member of the Brooklyn Nets after signing a two-year deal. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the deal has a team option for the second year.
Napier was the 24th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, where Miami Heat traded for his draft rights in an attempt to attract free agent-to-be LeBron James, only to see James go back to Cleveland. Napier spent one awkward season in Miami before being traded to Orlando, where his already-modest numbers took a dip. Orlando traded Bazz to Portland, where he would eventually carve out a solid role for himself as a backup point guard.
In his second year with the Blazers, Napier averaged 8.7 points, 2 assists, and 2.3 rebounds while playing 20 minutes per contest. He also made a very good coffee commercial. True to form, he also dropped fools on the court.
The Nets currently have D’Angelo Russell (25 MPG, 15.5 PPG, 5.2 APG) and Spencer Dinwiddie (28.8 MPG, 12.6 PPG, 6.6 APG) at point guard after trading Jeremy Lin to the Atlanta Hawks. Napier will likely be spelling Russell and Dinwiddie and perhaps joining them on the court if head coach Kenny Atkinson wants to use a smaller lineup.
Atkinson will be in his third season as Brooklyn’s head coach after eight years as an assistant with the Hawks and New York Knicks. The Nets finished last in the Eastern Conference Atlantic Division in each of his first two years.