NBA Draft 2014 Player Profile: Shabazz Napier
Randy Looks at the Top Prospects in the 2014 NBA Draft
NBA Draft: June 26, 2014
USA TODAY Sports
2013-14 Season: 18 PPG - 5.9 RPG - 4.9 APG
Notes: Napier is a two-time champion with UConn, winning a championship his rookie and senior season. He was also named the Most Outstanding Player in the NCAA Final Four in 2014 and was a two-time first-team all-conference player.
Strengths: There isn’t another player in this draft who is more confident or has more heart than Napier. He’s a gamer who plays his best on the biggest stage and isn’t afraid to take the big shots when the game is tight. Napier is a solid ball defender who uses his hands well and is a deadly step back shooter who has above-average range. Napier has NBA range from deep, is a terrific free throw shooter and can create his own shot with ease. Also, despite being only 6’1”, Napier averaged close to six rebounds last season. Overall, Napier is a fearless player who can instantly become a leader in an NBA locker room.
Weaknesses: Due to supreme confidence, Napier can sometimes force shots early in the shot clock. Napier also isn’t the most athletic player in the draft, as he relies mainly on his shot making ability and could struggle to blow by defenders to get to the cup. Napier’s lack of size is also going to be a concern for NBA teams, as you’d usually want your point guard a couple of inches taller. Napier is also going to be 23 his rookie season, which makes him one of the older players in the draft.
Projection: Napier is NBA-ready and could be a fire starter for a contender coming off the bench. He should be selected later in the first round due to his playmaking ability and leadership.