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1 a.m. update: Pat Riley discusses Shabazz Napier acquisition; Napier's Heat news conference; More on Napier

Pat Riley, speaking moments ago on the acquisition of Shabazz Napier:

### "It just came together. You just sort of zero in on somebody. It's very difficult when everybody knows you're zeroing in on someone. We're very fortunate to have drafted Shabazz. We feel very excited about him and what he can be.

"He's a two time champion, high motor guy, very quick, can shoot the ball. Has a lot of qualities that fit what Erik [Spoelstra] wants to do, what we want to do. He's been a guy that's been on the map the last three years. There's a part of his game, how we play, as a pick and roll team, as a team looking for space [floor space, not cap space, in this case]. He can go endline to endline with anybody."

"He's a winner. He's talented and he's skilled and you just have to watch him play the game and there's a competitive level we all like."

### On LeBron's comments praising Napier: "Why not? I don't tweet. If LeBron and I have the same taste in talent, so be it. He didn't call me on the phone. He never has since I've been here the last four years."

### Napier was "pretty high" on the Heat's board. "For whatever reason, things happens. We were trying to move up throughout the process."

### He said, while laughing, that attempts to move up were "extortion." 

### He said: "If he had gotten picked early, we would not have been greatly disappointed, because there were other players we greatly liked."

### "I like veteran, mature players. I'm not saying all young players don't make it, but we all want to win now. The more maturity you can get and experience you get, the better off you are."

### "I fell more in love with him the closer you got to the pick."

### Riley said he saw Napier during the season but not in the NCAA Tournament. "I saw a lot of him on film and in games."

### "We had a great personal conversation. He's a very bright kid. I was very impressed with the fact that when you ask these guys certain questions, a lot of them get sort of caught off guard with the question. He pretty much had a pretty coherent answer for every question I asked him. He's competitive without a huge ego."

### Can he project Napier for a major role next season? "He's going to compete, just like Norris [Cole]. They're both cut out of the same cloth, competitive players, highly conditioned. They're cut out of the same cloth. Mario [Chalmers] is a free agent, so we've got to deal with that. So we'll have some depth at the position."

### To move up to draft Napier at No. 24, the Heat traded picks 26 and 55 to Charlotte, plus cash and a 2019 second-round pick.

(Incidentally, the Heat indicated Riley would not be answering questions Thursday about free agency. In case you wondered why none were asked.)

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Highlights from Napier's 1 a.m. conference call with Miami media:

### "When I found out I was going to the Miami Heat, I was happy. I was ecstatic I'm playing for the Heat."

### "I was told I was not going to go that far back [to 24th]. The look on my mother's face had me not thinking about what was going on. I was able to celebrate something special."

### "Me and Pat Riley were talking for a little bit after I worked out for them. He was giving me a lot of advice about the NBA and adjustments. When you come into this league, you have to want to be the best. That's what I want to be. He never sugercoated anything. I cherish and appreciate [his advice]."

### Napier, on LeBron's tweets about him: "For one of the best players in the world to be intrigued by my talent is something so special to me. One of the best players, if not the best players, is recognizing my [talent]. I appreciate it."

### "I'm super comfortable [playing off the ball when needed]. I'm comfortable moving without the ball. LeBron, Dwyane... I know for a fact they will put me in great situations and I will put them in great situations. I'm able to stretch the court."

### He said learning as a freshman behind Kemba Walker and playing for Kevin Ollie helped prepare him for the NBA transition.

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10 p.m. report:

For the first time during the LeBron James era, the Heat generated a groundswell of excitement with a draft pick.

And the Heat did it by procuring a player, Shabazz Napier, that James on Thursday called "my favorite player in the draft."

By trading up two spots with Charlotte, the Heat landed the prospect it targeted: the Connecticut point guard who developed into an outstanding leader and passer and long-range shooter while winning two national titles.

In return, the Heat dealt its two draft picks – 26th and 55th --- as well as a future second-round selection.

“It’s a blessing,” Napier told ESPN about landing with the Heat.“"The first thing that jumps off is the winning attitude. On the first day you arrive to that organization, you want to work, …. I’m very excited. I’m going to compete my tail off and always have a chip on my shoulder. I’m very excited. I’m going to compete my tail off and always have a chip on my shoulder.”

Napier, 6-1, averaged 18 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.9 assists for Connecticut last season, while shooting 42.9 percent from the field and 40.5 percent on threes.

He helped lead Connecticut to the national championship and was named the Final Four's "most outstanding player" after this year's NCAA Tournament.

It was the second national championship for Napier, who also won one in 2011.

The Heat tried to trade with several teams to land Napier and ultimately found a partner in Charlotte.

James was a strong advocate of Napier, and his selection could only help the Heat’s already solid chances of retaining James.

“No way you take another point guard in the lottery before Napier,” James tweeted during the NCAA Tournament.

"I don't know if I'm bringing him back [to Miami]," Napier said. "I would love it. Me and LeBron's relationship, he's a great guy. I've been to his camps. Me and him chatted a few times at his camps. It's just something special to know that one of the best players in the world thinks about you and appreciates your talent.  That's something that I'm so humble for."

Napier’s scoring average and shooting percentage – both overall and on threes -- increased every season at Connecticut.

He’s considered a skilled passer and ball-handler and excels in pick-and-rolls.

His selection likely portends the departure of point guard Mario Chalmers, who’s an unrestricted free agent. If the Heat decides to keep Norris Cole, who’s due $2.15 million next season, then selecting Napier eliminates the need to spend anything significant on a veteran point guard.

If the Heat trades Cole and signs a point guard to the minimum, it would save $1.6 million against the cap.

Former Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun, who coached Napier his first two seasons, in April called Napier one of the “greatest players in college basketball in the last 10-12 years” and told The New York Times that “his swagger, his positive arrogance about how good we are translates to every single guy. He’s just a very special player. He led this team.”

Napier, who was born in Roxbury, Mass., was named American Athletic Conference Player of the Year and a first team All-American as a senior. He was All Big East first team as a junior.

### A couple questions from a Q & A with Napier conducted by other reporters at the draft:

Question: You had said you felt you were the best point guard in the draft, and after all you proved at UConn, but it ended up being a handful of guys went ahead of you anyway.  Does that put the chip back on your shoulder going into this?

Napier: "No, the chip never leaves my shoulder.  It will never leave my shoulder.  That's what makes me who I am.  And I was saying that not to belittle any other point guards.  There's a reason why they're here.  But I was just saying that because that's who I am.

"I wouldn't be Shabazz Napier if I wouldn't have said that.  I believe it, and I'm going to prove it.  What I always learned was that whatever you put in is what you're going to get out.  If I don't put in the work, it's not going to show.

"So there's always a chip on my shoulder to prove to myself that I'm the best, and to do that, I've got to work hard."...

Q.  We know LeBron has said some very good things about you.  He likes your game.  Are you now ready to be a recruiter, per se, for Miami to help him stay?

Napier: "I would hope so.  I would hope so.  He's one of the best players in the world.  So if me going there helps him come back, it just betters our chances of being a complete team. But at the end of the day, my job is to get to improve and work on my game so when it comes to the stage where it's my first game, I'm ready to compete, and I'm prepared."

### A Heat executive will discuss the Napier acquisition later tonight. Please check back later in this post for those comments.

### Forward Chris Andersen, who is opting out of a Heat contract that would have paid him $1.4 million next season, said Thursday he would love to stay with the Heat but will not decide until James, Bosh and Wade determine their futures. “Big money goes first,” he told colleague Joe Goodman.

The Heat ideally would like him to accept the $1.4 million minimum that he opted out of, while potentially adding a second year to the deal. “I got a tan, so it’s growing on me pretty good now,” Andersen said of Miami.

### With Philadelphia selecting one player who is injured (Joel Embiid) and acquiring another who will play overseas next season (Dario Saric), the 76ers will not be expected to make the playoffs next season, which would reduce second-guessing of the Heat’s decision in January to trade the 76ers’ lottery-protected first-round pick to Boston for the purpose of dumping Joel Anthony’s contract. If the 76ers miss the playoffs next season, that first-rounder turns into two second-rounders. The Heat’s 2015 first-rounder belongs to Cleveland.

### Please see the last post for Big Three news from Thursday.          

Comments

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Georgia Cane

The Dolphins should hire Pat Riley to show them how to select a first round draft pick

Marios

Heat didn't want Houston taking Nappier considering what they gave up to move 2 spots. Charlotte doesn't need more PGs so guess they had the Rockets taking him.
Good pick for us looks like a Derek Fisher or Timmy Hardaway type PG.

Heat Dynasty

Shabazz??? What kind of name is that?? lol

jmike

Really Georgia Cane, really, the last successful 1st round pick that Riley has had was Wade in 2003. Thta's a great record in 1st round selections huh

LeBron's Menstrual Cramps

The first thing Miami cHeat will teach this rook is how to flop efficiently & methodically - tsk tsk

LeBron's Menstrual Cramps

The Miami Floppers need to get a BIG point guard, not midgets like Chuck Norris Cole, Maria Chalmers, & Shazam Napier. They need to someone who can contain the likes of Antonio Parkerito or a Westbrook. What happened to the experiment to try Greg '3-feet' Oden at PG?

Beavis

What kind of name is Heat Dynasty???

Beavis

jmike = LeBron's Menstrual Cramps

How's it going troll?

Beavis

Now that Chicago got bigger and more athletic, the Heat need to make a serious pitch for Kevin Love. They need a big guy who can really pull down rebounds. I don't see this happening, but Pat Riley can make pipe dreams a reality.

Mark in Toronto

Why so much excitement over a 20 something NBA pick?

The real excitement should be over for the first time in NBA history, in back to back years, the #1 overall pick is from the same city ... the great city of Toronto, Canada!!!

That brings up the # of lottery picks on the cavs from Toronto to three!

Shouldn't that be the Raptors plan???

Too bad I'm just a passive basketball fan or I'd actually be excited instead of just impressed.

At looms well for Canada basketball come Olympic and World Championships.

Mark in Toronto

Beavis, isn't that what Chris Bosh's job should be? He was a good rebounder with the Raptors.

deity

Good grab for the Heat on Shabazz. Bosh is a pansy nowadays. No presence inside. He just wants to float to the corner and shoot 3's and mid-range. Not that I really care but the Heat still need a MAN in the paint.

Mark in Toronto

you're right, deity. he used to be a 10/11 rpg game with the Raptors but now he's a 6-7 RPG guy. I mean, if this guy isn't rebounding, is it even worth keeping him around?

Heat Dynasty

Shabazz will continue the dynasty.

Heat Dynasty

Mark, havent seen the Canadian soccer team in the World Cup? Whats up?

deity

I don't think so Mark IMO. But unless traded they might not have a choice. If they had a true big man there though he would be good to pair with, kind of like LA always has liked to do. Roll with that inside big man and the "European" big man. Whatever they do the LBJ show just aint going to get it done.

Mark in Toronto

No Canadian team in the world cup. Not good enough. But there are some Canadian born and raised players playing in the world cup. The keeper for Bosnia was born/raised/trained in Canada.

Also de Guzman who starts in midfield for the netherlands is also a Canadian.

Now that we have three pro teams in the MLS, I expect slowly but surely for the national team to get better if the teams get behind promoting Canadian product but it will take a while.

Canada had a real chance to get behind the sport with the influx of European immigration in the 1960s/70s but that ship has come and gone. Most of the immigrants now are from China/India and they don't play the sport.

Mark in Toronto

deity, that used to be the way NBA teams were built with the high/low dual attack. The Bulls made everyone believe in the triangle offense and really only them and the Heat have been able to win without a true big man.

I think finding a true big man would do the heat well. Easier said than done though.

David F Ivy

Pat Riley wanted him
that's all you need to know

Dave

Mark in Toronto

I thought it was LBJ that wanted him?

deity

Big men without injury history and already blown out knees and backs at 24 years old are no doubt, hard to find. They got to find better ball movement as well. The Spurs put on an absolute clinic on how to move the ball around.

deity

And holy crap I am talking about the Heat...is it minicamp time yet? I mean COME ONE already!

deity

ON** that left middle finger can get a little trigger happy!

Beavis

The Heat should be chasing for Kevin Love now. They need a legit center if they are going to contend with Chicago. Size matters nowadays in this league.

Beavis

Shabazz Napier is a superior PG and will fit in real nice with the Heat. I'm afraid Mario Chalmers has lost his staring role with this team. I like Chalmers a whole lot but he has to go. Also, the Bulls got Doug McDermot in a steal of the draft. If Miami is going to pull forward with and contend for more titles they need a big man in center. Kevin Love is that option and he is a free agent. Make it work Pat Riley.

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