The 2014 NBA Draft is getting closer and it’s time to start taking a closer look at some of their first-round prospects. Next on the block is UConn star Shabazz Napier.
Why Draft Him?
There is probably no player in this year’s outstanding draft class that has the intangibles, i.e. the unmeasurables that Napier showed during his team’s title run this past season. He is a team leader who makes the players on the floor with him better, and though he doesn’t have the combine statistics that make scouts drool, there is certainly a place for him in the NBA. Napier can shoot well enough at the next level and though he turns the ball over, his skills with the ball translates as he had the ball in his hands for nearly 40 minutes a night with UConn so some turnovers are bound to occur.
What Pass On Him?
Rajon Rondo is still on this Boston roster so drafting Napier may be overkill. In order to be successful Napier needs to dominate the ball as his constant movement off-the-dribble helps him get into the lane and create for others. Napier’s size is also going to hurt him on the defensive end. While he will play hard and compete on that end, very rarely do smaller point guards deter NBA-level guys from getting into the lane or not getting beaten up by the Andre Millers of the league while guarding someone with their back to the basket. It would be tricky for Napier to fit on the Celtics with the current group they have, so unless there is a trade on the horizon I don’t see Boston using a first-round pick on the UConn guard.