ESPN’s Chad Ford reported on Wednesday that the Miami Heat are considering trading up in the 2014 NBA Draft in order to appease LeBron James by selecting Connecticut point guard Shabazz Napier.
And based on new comments from Heat vice president of player personnel Chet Kammerer, which included saying Napier is in the Heat’s “wheelhouse,” it would certainly seem as if Miami is truly contemplating such a maneuver.
Trading up to grab Napier makes all the sense in the world for Miami.
We know LeBron is a big fan of the guard’s game. Given the enormous impact James’ free agent decision has on the Heat’s future, any move that makes it more likely he returns to South Beach is a smart one for Miami.
No way u take another PG in the lottery before Napier.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) April 8, 2014
Furthermore, the Heat would be wise to take a point guard in the draft.
Mario Chalmers is a free agent and coming off one of the worst NBA Finals performances from a starter in recent memory, as he averaged just 4.4 points on 33.3 percent shooting from the floor vs. the San Antonio Spurs. Miami’s other top point guard, Norris Cole, struggled down the stretch as well, averaging just 3.2 points on 31.6 percent shooting from the field in the finals.
Ford’s report suggests the Heat will likely have to part with Cole, its first-round pick this year (No. 26) and its 2017 first-round pick in order to move up to a spot where landing Napier is possible.
With LeBron applying the pressure to make a move, the Heat have to follow through with this deal if they find a willing suitor.