Shabazz Napier
Shabazz Napier
29-Year-Old GuardG
Washington Wizards
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. Traded to the Nuggets in February of 2020. Traded to the Wizards in February of 2020.
Personal Bio

Shabazz Bozie Napier was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1991. The son of Carmen Velasquez, Napier dominated at Charlestown High School before transferring to Lawrence Academy. Napier spent two years at the Groton-based school before returning to Charlestown as a senior. From there, he took his talents to the University of Connecticut, choosing to play for the Huskies over the likes of the University of Miami and Providence College. Napier spent four years at UConn, graduating with a degree in sociology. You can follow him on Twitter @ShabazzNapier and on Instagram @Shabazznap13r.

College/International Summary

Over the course of his four years at Connecticut, Napier became the school's first player to accumulate both 1,500 points (1,959, fourth in school history) and 500 assists (646, third in school history). He's also one of only three UConn players to win the national championship as both a freshman and a senior. The Roxbury, Massachusetts native was chosen as the 2014 American Athletic Conference Player of the Year and was named to the 2014 All-American first team. In the course of leading Connecticut to the 2014 NCAA Tournament championship, he averaged 21.2 points per game in the tournament and was chosen as the Final Four and East Regional Most Outstanding Player. Napier finished his senior season as UConn's team leader across a number of categories: points (18.0), field goals (5.3), 3-pointers (2.2), and steals (1.8). He also paced the team in free-throw percentage at 87.0 while averaging a team-high 6.0 attempts per game. Napier was chosen in the first round (24th overall) of the 2014 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Hornets and traded to the Miami Heat on draft night.

Starts again at point guard
GWashington Wizards
July 25, 2020
Napier recorded nine points (3-6 FG, 2-5 3Pt, 1-3 FT), four rebounds, two steals and an assist across 20 minutes in Saturday's 105-10 scrimmage loss to the Clippers in Orlando.
ANALYSIS
The positional battle for the point guard spot remains open, but Napier garnered his second-straight start on Saturday. Ish Smith also played 29 minutes against the Clippers and scored 12 points. At the moment, the most likely scenario is a timeshare between Napier and Smith, which would limit their desirability as fantasy targets.
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Past Season Summaries
2019

Napier began the 2019-20 season with the Timberwolves. He appeared in 36 games for Minnesota and averaged 9.6 points, 5.2 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 23.8 minutes. Feb. 5, he was traded to the Wizards. With Washington, Napier appeared in 15 games and averaged 12.0 points, 4.4 assists, 2.4 rebounds and 1.7 steals in 25.2 minutes. Overall, Napier set new per-game career highs in points (10.3), assists (5.0), rebounds (2.9) and steals (1.3). He also shot 41.2 percent from the field, 32.0 percent from three and 82.3 percent from the free-throw line. Napier set new single-game career highs of 13 assists, 10 rebounds and four steals. His other single-game season highs were 27 points, four threes and two blocks. He ranked 11th in the NBA in steal percentage (2.5). Napier racked up a triple-doubles Jan. 25 against the Thunder. In 32 minutes, he posted 10 points (4-6 FG, 2-3 3Pt), 13 assists, 10 rebounds and two steals. During the 13 contests that Napier saw at least 30 minutes, he averaged 18.4 points, 7.2 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 2.0 steals.

2018

Napier signed with the Nets in the offseason and spent 2017-18 mostly serving off the bench for Brooklyn. He played in 56 games, starting two, and set new career highs in points per game (9.4) and assists per game (2.6). On Dec. 29, he matched a personal best with a 32-point effort against the Bucks, adding seven assists and four rebounds. He also scored 20-plus on four other occasions. Napier established a new career high for assists in a game with 11 versus the Nuggets on Feb. 6. He also hit a new peak with six 3-pointers as part of a 113-94 victory over the Heat on Apr. 10. Napier shot 83.3 percent from the free throw line, which ranked him second on the club. For the season, he finished fifth on the Nets in total steals (41) and assists (143). He saw action in three playoff games and averaged a postseason-best 8.0 points. In Game 2 of the Nets' first-round series against the 76ers, he scored 13 points off the bench.

2017

Napier's second and final season in Portland was by far his most productive to date. Suiting up in a career-best 74 games, Napier averaged a career-high 20.7 minutes. Not surprisingly, the increased playing time resulted in increased production. The former UConn star finished with personal bests s in both points (8.7) and rebounds (2.3) per game. Napier scored in double figures in 28 games, including five in which he tallied 20 or more points. His improved scoring numbers were the result of career-high percentages in terms of both field goals (42.0 percent) and free throws (84.1 percent), and he also drained 1.1 threes per contest. Napier distributed the ball as well, clearing 2.0 assists per game for the second time in his first four NBA seasons. Toss in his defensive contributions (1.1 steals per game), and it's easy to see why the former No. 24 overall selection (2014) was in high demand in the offseason. Napier signed with Brooklyn as a free agent in the summer of 2018.

2016

Napier joined Portland prior to the 2016-17 season following an offseason trade from Orlando. The former Connecticut standout appeared in 53 games for the Trail Blazers, making two starts. He averaged 9.7 minutes, 4.1 points, 1.3 assists and 1.2 rebounds per contest. Napier shot a career-best 39.9 percent from the floor and 37 percent from 3-point range in his third NBA season. He also shot an efficient 77.6 percent from the free-throw line, up from 73.3 a year earlier. Napier's shooting was on full display when he scored a career-high 32 points in a start against San Antonio on Apr. 10. He knocked down 4-of-7 from beyond the arc in the contest as he registered his first career 30-point game. Napier was effective offensively in his other start, going for 25 points in just 26 minutes against New Orleans on Apr. 12. He had five other games scoring in double figures. Following a hot finish to the regular season, Napier saw his first career postseason action, as he appeared in all four games of the Wolves' first-round loss to Golden State.

2015

Following his rookie season in Miami, Napier was traded within the state of Florida, landing with Orlando ahead of the 2015-16 campaign. The 24-year-old once again worked as a reserve point guard, appearing in 55 games off the bench for the Magic. He averaged 3.7 points and 1.8 assists across 10.9 minutes per contest. Napier still managed a few big performances in his reserve role, including scoring a career-high 22 points against the Lakers on Nov. 11. He added three assists and a steal in that contest while enjoying a season-high 30 minutes of action. Napier also managed 13 points in just 18 minutes of action against Boston on Jan. 29. The Connecticut product recorded a career-best nine assists against Cleveland on Nov. 23. He scored 11 points in that game as well, leaving him just an assist shy of his first career double-double. Napier grabbed a season-high four rebounds to go along with 10 points against Cleveland again on Jan. 2.

2014

After a distinguished career at the University of Connecticut, Napier was selected by Charlotte with the 24th pick of the 2014 NBA Draft. A day after the draft, the Hornets shipped Napier to Miami. The rookie established himself in the Heat's rotation, appearing in 51 games with 10 starts. He averaged 5.1 points across 19.8 minutes per game. Napier added 2.5 assists and 2.2 rebounds per contest. As a starter, the 23-year-old upped his averages to 24.2 minutes, 6.1 points, 4.5 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game. Some of his finest performances came off the bench, including scoring a season-high 18 points in 34 minutes of action against the Knicks on Feb. 20 -- accompanied by a season-high seven rebounds along with six assists and a steal. Napier managed 17 points off the bench against the Clippers on Nov. 20. The rookie dished out a season-high eight assists in a start against Cleveland on Feb. 11.

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Transaction History
  • June 26, 2014
    Drafted by the Charlotte Bobcats in the 1st round (24th pick) of the 2014 NBA Draft.
  • June 27, 2014
    Traded by the Charlotte Bobcats to the Miami Heat for Semaj Christon, P.J. Hairston, cash and a 2019 2nd round draft pick
  • July 18, 2014
    Signed a rookie multi-year contract with the Miami Heat
  • July 27, 2015
    Traded by the Miami Heat to the Orlando Magic for a 2016 2nd round draft pick.
  • July 7, 2016
    Traded by the Orlando Magic to the Portland Trail Blazers for cash considerations.
  • July 17, 2018
    Signed a two-year contract with the Brooklyn Nets.
  • July 7, 2019
    Traded by the Brooklyn Nets with Treveon Graham and D'Angelo Russell to the Golden State Warriors for Kevin Durant and a 2020 1st round draft pick.
  • July 8, 2019
    Traded by the Golden State Warriors with Treveon Graham and cash to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Lior Eliyahu.
  • February 4, 2020
    As part of a 4-team trade, traded by the Minnesota Timberwolves with Keita Bates-Diop and Noah Vonleh to the Denver Nuggets in exchange for Malik Beasley and Juancho Hernangomez
  • February 6, 2020
    Traded by the Denver Nuggets to the Washington Wizards in exchange for Jordan McRae
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2015
2014
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
Starts in first restart scrimmage
GWashington Wizards
July 23, 2020
Napier posted nine points (3-4 FG, 3-3 3Pt), five assists and two steals across 17 minutes in Wednesday's 89-82 scrimmage loss to the Nuggets.
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Score 21, stuffs stat sheet
GWashington Wizards
March 10, 2020
Napier amassed 21 points (6-12 FG, 3-7 3Pt, 6-6 FT), six assists, three steals and two rebounds in 38 minutes during Tuesday's 122-115 win over the Knicks.
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Matches career high in scoring
GWashington Wizards
March 8, 2020
Napier had 27 points (6-14 FG, 4-8 3Pt, 11-14 FT), seven assists, four rebounds and four steals in 40 minutes during Sunday's 100-89 loss to the Heat.
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Fills stat sheet in win
GWashington Wizards
March 2, 2020
Napier posted nine points (3-5 FG, 1-1 3Pt, 2-2 FT), five assists, three rebounds and three steals in 25 minutes during Sunday's 124-110 win at Golden State.
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Moves into starting five
GWashington Wizards
February 26, 2020
Napier will start Wednesday against the Nets, Fred Katz of The Athletic reports.
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