Miami Heat sign rookie Shabazz Napier

Miami Heat sign rookie Shabazz Napier Photo:

LeBron James' favorite player, Shabazz Napier, signed with Miami on Friday, the team announced.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

Napier, who turned 23 on Monday, was a two-time NCAA champion at UConn (2011 and 2014) and averaged 13.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.5 assists in 143 career college games. He was also the Most Outstanding Player at the this year's Final Four.

“Shabazz is a proven winner and one of the most mature college players that I have ever met,” Heat president Pat Riley said in a statement. “Not only did he help lead UConn to two NCAA championships, but he also knows exactly what he needs to do to make an impact at the NBA level. I believe the experience he had during the Summer League is going to payoff in leaps and bounds when training camp begins.”

Napier was selected 24th overall by the Charlotte Hornets, who then traded him to the Heat for the 26th and 55th picks.  Those picks became D-League guard P.J. Hairston and Xavier guard Semaj Christon. The Hornets then traded Christon to Oklahoma City for cash.

- Chris Mascaro


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