Shabazz Napier
Shabazz Napier
28-Year-Old GuardG
Minnesota Timberwolves
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Napier notched career-high averages of 9.4 points, 2.6 assists, 1.4 threes and 0.3 blocks across 56 appearances with the Nets in 2018-19. Having been dealt to the Timberwolves this offseason, Napier is likely to enjoy a more consistent role backing up Jeff Teague after receiving no shortage of DNP-Coach's Decisions last year while holding down the fort as Brooklyn's third point guard behind D'Angelo Russell and Spencer Dinwiddie. Napier has proven capable of compiling plenty of points and dimes when he receives ample minutes, albeit with a subpar field-goal percentage of 39.3 through five seasons. If Teague misses time at some point this season, Napier will likely be a hot waiver wire addition in most fantasy leagues. Teague, who turned 31 this summer and is entering his 11th season, has been among the most durable point guards prior to 2018-19, when he appeared in just 42 tilts due to injuries. As such, those investing in Teague in deep leagues might be wise to consider drafting Napier for insurance purposes. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a two-year, $3.83 million contract with the Nets in July of 2018. Traded to the Warriors in July of 2019. Traded to the Timberwolves in July of 2019.
Efficient in team debut
GMinnesota Timberwolves
October 9, 2019
Napier compiled seven points (3-7 FG, 1-4 3Pt), seven assists and three rebounds across 14 minutes during the Timberwolves' 111-106 preseason loss to the Suns on Tuesday.
Napier made good use of his modest time on the court in the preseason opener, offering a spark off the bench with a team-high assist total. The veteran point guard will serve as Jeff Teague's primary backup to open the season, a role that could yield a solid amount of minutes, especially if Teague proves to be similarly injury-prone to a 2018-19 campaign when he played a career-low 42 games.
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Average Fantasy Points
Average Fantasy Points are determined when Shabazz Napier was active vs. non-active during the season. Click here to view average fantasy points for a different time period.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Napier set career highs across the board with Portland in his fourth NBA season. After playing in no more than 55 games the last three years, Napier took the floor for 74 contests and averaged 20.7 minutes while working as the backup point guard to Damian Lillard. He upped his per game points (8.7), rebounds (2.3), assists (2.0) and steals (1.1), while becoming a more consistent shooter overall. The 27-year-old shot 42.0 percent from the field, 37.6 percent from three-point land and 84.1 percent from the charity stripe, all of which were better than a year prior. Still, the Trail Blazers opted to let him walk in free agency and he now joins the Nets on a two-year deal. Despite the drop in talent around him, Napier enters a fairly crowded backcourt rotation. Starting point guard D'Angelo Russell is fully healthy, while Spencer Dinwiddie was in the conversation for the league's Most Improved award. In addition the Nets have given youngster Caris LeVert some opportunities to play on the ball, which means Napier is going to have a tough time playing significant minutes. Look for him to battle Dinwiddie and LeVert for time in the backcourt and at this point, it seems unlikely that Napier will be able to match the 20.7 minutes he finished with in 2017-18. That said, Russell does have an checkered injury history, so Napier could become a bigger factor if the former can't stay healthy.
On the brink of journeyman status, Napier played for his third team in as many seasons during the 2016-17 campaign, moving from Orlando to Portland in a trade that occurred in July of 2016. In joining a much more talented roster, Napier really struggled to make an impact, playing a career-low 9.7 minutes across 53 games. That held him to averages of just 4.1 points, 1.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists, while shooting 39.9 percent from the field and 37 percent from the three-point line. With Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum still dominating the backcourt minutes, Napier likely won't get a ton of run during the upcoming season. He'll continue to operate as a backup point guard and could end up getting more run at shooting guard following the departure of Allen Crabbe to the Nets in an offseason trade. Still, Napier is still expected to be rather useless in the majority of Fantasy leagues and could need an injury or two to occur before being an option.
Even on a depleted Heat squad, Napier was limited to 51 games, 10 starts, and four games in the D-League. Before the Magic acquired Napier this offseason for a protected second-round pick, his rookie season was cut short by a sports hernia surgery. He ended the year averaging 5.1 points, 2.5 assists, 2.2 rebounds, 0.8 steals, and 0.8 three-pointers in 20 minutes per game. Napier only sank 38 percent of his field goal attempts, but with more than half of them located behind the three-point line, his 36-percent accuracy from long distance compensated for the massive efficiency hit. Four months after surgery, he provided 17.0 points, 4.5 assists, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.3 three-pointers in 23 minutes per game during four summer league matches. The 24-year-old's slight build and diminutive size played a role in his over reliance on perimeter shots and inability to get to the hole. Napier joins a team with Elfrid Payton and C.J. Watson as the primary and secondary point guard, but they also boast a handful of tertiary ballhandlers, namely Victor Oladipo and Evan Fournier. His defensive limitations and the Magic's guard depth may make it difficult for Napier to earn substantial minutes under new coach Scott Skiles.
Napier was drafted by the Hornets with the 24th-overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft but was immediately traded to the Heat. The rookie may have ultimately ended up in Miami to entice LeBron James to stay with the Heat since the King openly remarked his praise for the product of Connecticut. Even with the departure of James, Napier stands a chance to receive time in the backcourt this season behind Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole. The NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament's Most Outstanding Player in 2014 seems to be currently positioned behind the likes of Chalmers and Cole and will have to spend the season proving to head coach Erik Spoelstra that he deserves a spot in the rotation. The aforementioned point guards in front of him aren't necessarily the stiffest competition when you take a look around the league, but Napier struggled in the Las Vegas Summer League, shooting just 27 percent over five games, and now faces an uphill battle for playing time this season. Despite all of this, the 23-year-old was a two-time national champion and willed his UConn team through the NCAA tournament last season. His slow start may be concerning, but he seems to possess the tools that can be refined into a decent NBA player In his rookie campaign.
More Fantasy News
Headed to Minnesota
GMinnesota Timberwolves
July 1, 2019
The Timberwolves agreed Monday to acquire Napier as part of a three-team deal involving the Warriors and Nets, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports.
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Joins Warriors in three-player package
GGolden State Warriors
July 1, 2019
The Warriors acquired Napier and Treveon Graham from the Nets on Sunday as part of the sign-and-trade deal that sent D'Angelo Russell to Golden State, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports.
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Posts double-double in Game 5
GBrooklyn Nets
April 23, 2019
Napier finished with 11 points (3-5 FG, 1-2 3Pt, 4-4 FT), four rebounds, 10 assists and a steal over 16 minutes Tuesday against Philadelphia.
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Pours in 20 points off bench
GBrooklyn Nets
April 10, 2019
Napier generated 20 points (7-17 FG, 6-13 3Pt), five rebounds and five assists in 29 minutes during Wednesday's win over the Heat.
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Off injury report
GBrooklyn Nets
March 21, 2019
Napier (illness) is off the injury report for Friday's game against the Lakers.
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