Brooklyn Nets rumors: Shabazz Napier agrees to 2-year deal

According to the newest Brooklyn Nets rumors, veteran point guard Shabazz Napier has agreed to a two-year deal with the Nets after two seasons in Portland.

The latest Brooklyn Nets rumors on Saturday have the club agreeing to a two-year deal with unrestricted free agent point guard Shabazz Napier.

Napier, who turned 27 on Saturday, played the last two seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers and had his best season as a pro in 2017-18 while backing up All-Star Damian Lillard.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN had the initial report:

Wojnarowski reported the second year of the deal is a team option and it can’t be for a lot.

After completing the deals Friday that sent Jeremy Lin to the Atlanta Hawks and brought in Kenneth Faried and Darrell Arthur from the Denver Nuggets, the Nets only had a little more than $2.2 million remaining under the salary cap, per Early Bird Rights.

Napier made nearly $2.4 million last season with the Trail Blazers, the final year of his four-year rookie deal originally signed with the Miami Heat in July 2014.

This will be Napier’s fourth team in five years, not counting the Charlotte Bobcats, who drafted him 24th overall in 2014 and sent his rights to the Miami Heat the following day in exchange for the rights to first-round pick P.J. Hairston and second-rounder Semaj Christon.

Last season, Napier averaged a career-high 8.7 points to go with 2.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.1 steals in 20.7 minutes per game (also a career best), shooting .420/.376/.841 — career-highs all — in his second season with Portland.

Napier played just one season in Miami before he was traded to the Orlando Magic in July 2015 and in July 2016, Napier was moved to the Trail Blazers in exchange for cash considerations.

It’s was a rough career start for the former Connecticut All-American who led the Huskies to a national championship in 2014. His rookie year with the Heat included two assignments to the G-League.

Napier played in a career-high 74 games last season after never having appeared in more than 55 previously. His shooting made a dramatic upturn as well in 2017-18. In his first three seasons, Napier’s slash line had been just .373/.354/.767.

Consistent playing time can do that for a guy, however.

Napier joins a Nets backcourt that was cleared out some with Friday’s dealings, as reserve Isaiah Whitehead was also traded to the Nuggets as part of the flurry of trades.

He figures to fit somewhere in a rotational mix at the guard spots that will include combo guards D’Angelo Russell and Spencer Dinwiddie along with shooting guard Joe Harris.

Napier is a low-risk pickup, considering he’s young, coming off a solid season and comes in cheaply. He’s got a bit of playoff experience, knows his way around the NBA after bouncing through three organizations and once carried a team on his back to a national championship.

Last season marked the first time Napier had played above replacement level in his career, notching a VORP of 0.8 for the Blazers after marks of minus-0.2, minus-0.4 and zero in his first three seasons.

He has averaged 5.7 points and 1.9 assists in 15.7 minutes per game in his four NBA seasons, shooting .395/.363/.802.

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