Shabazz Napier
Shabazz Napier
27-Year-Old GuardG
Brooklyn Nets
2018 Fantasy Outlook
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. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a two-year, $3.79 million contract with the Nets in July of 2018.
Plays 12 minutes in Friday's loss
GBrooklyn Nets
February 8, 2019
Napier had zero points (0-5 FG, 0-3 3Pt), one rebound, and one assist in 12 minutes during Friday's 125-106 loss to the Bulls.
Napier was a total non-factor in this one, with each of the other 10 Nets who saw the floor earning more minutes. That list of players includes Caris LeVert (foot), who played 15 minutes in his return to the lineup following a 42-game absence. Napier had been tearing it up recently after being used sparingly over the first few months of 2018-19, but the return of LeVert and the looming return of Spencer Dinwiddie (thumb) will likely limit Napier's fantasy appeal heading into the final third of the regular season.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
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
First double-double of season
GBrooklyn Nets
February 7, 2019
Napier put up 10 points (2-4 FG, 2-2 3Pt, 4-6 FT), 11 assists and two rebounds in 27 minutes Wednesday in the Nets' 135-130 win over the Nuggets.
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Poor shooting in start
GBrooklyn Nets
February 5, 2019
Napier put up 15 points (4-15 FG, 0-10 3Pt, 7-7 FT), four rebounds, four assists and two steals across 28 minutes Monday in the Nets' 113-94 loss to the Bucks.
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Draws spot start
GBrooklyn Nets
February 4, 2019
Napier is starting Monday against Milwaukee, Brian Lewis of the New York Post reports.
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Logs 15 points, seven dimes in loss
GBrooklyn Nets
January 31, 2019
Napier totaled 15 points (4-13 FG, 2-9 3Pt, 5-6 FT), seven assists, two blocks, and one rebound in 29 minutes during Thursday's 117-114 loss to the Spurs.
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Keeps rolling against Bulls
GBrooklyn Nets
January 30, 2019
Napier scored 24 points (8-17 FG, 5-10 3Pt, 3-6 FT) while adding four assist, three rebounds and three steals in 26 minutes off the bench during Tuesday's 122-117 win over the Bulls.
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