Shabazz Napier could soon be on his way to the Orlando Magic.
Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the news on July 26.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported on Sunday that the Magic “agreed in principle” to trade for Napier, the second-year Miami Heat guard. In exchange, Orlando will send a 2016 second-round draft pick to Miami.
Orlando will acquire Miami’s Shabazz Napier for a protected future second-round pick, league sources tell Yahoo.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 26, 2015
The Orlando Sentinel’s Josh Robbins stresses the only way the Heat can receive this second-rounder is if the Magic ends up with one of the five best records in the NBA in 2015-16.
In other words, if this draft pick falls between the 31st and 55th selection in the 2016 NBA draft, the Magic get to keep it, per The Orlando Sentinel.
Robbins says the Heat will also send the Magic cash as part of the Napier deal.
By trading Napier, the Heat will be able to save $4.5 million in salary and luxury taxes. Windhorst stresses Miami is in danger of being the first team “to pay the penal repeater tax this season.”
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 26, 2015
With Napier’s impending departure, Miami’s point guard situation has changed drastically since it acquired Goran Dragic from the Phoenix Suns in Feb. 2015. The Heat also traded Norris Cole to the New Orleans Pelicans and are now dangling Mario Chalmers as trade bait, per ESPN.
However, The Miami Herald’s Joseph Goodman says trading Napier makes it appear the Heat could keep Chalmers, who has been the subject of trade talks for weeks.
Nonetheless, Goodman himself admits Miami could still deal Chalmers because of the $4.3 million he is due for 2015-16. The Heat could resort to cheaper options at the point guard spot to back up Dragic.
— Magic Nation ️ (@PureMagicNation) July 26, 2015
Windhorst says Napier was a favorite of former Heat star LeBron James. Several days after James opted out of his contract with Miami, the Heat traded up in the 2014 NBA draft to acquire Napier with the 24th overall pick.
According to Windhorst, the Heat did not put much importance into the thought of James influencing their decision to draft Napier last year, per ESPN.
Napier further solidifies the Magic’s point guard rotation, an offseason priority for the team. Orlando also signed former Indiana Pacers guard C.J. Watson to back up starter Elfrid Payton, per ESPN.
With Napier in tow, Keith Appling’s status remains in limbo.
— ESPN (@espn) July 26, 2015
The Orlando Sentinel update says the Magic agreed to a two-year deal with a small guarantee with the former Michigan State Spartans guard. Robbins foresees Appling participating in Orlando’s training camp, but could find it difficult to crack the team’s regular-season roster.
Should this be the case, Appling could return to the NBA D-League’s Erie Bayhawks, whom he spent the 2014-15 season with, per Robbins.
Appling’s equivalent on the Miami side is 2014 second-round draft pick Josh Richardson, who had a decent showing in NBA Summer League play. Should the Heat decide to keep him, they are looking at the possibility of grooming him into a combo guard, per The Miami Herald.
Napier averaged 5.1 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 51 games in 2014-15 before undergoing sports hernia surgery in March, per ESPN.
Napier was set to earn $1.35 million next season, per Goodman.
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Originally posted in i4u News