As far as reporting goes, things have been quiet on the Napier front publicly for the last nine months, but a source close to the UConn legend told our own Bryan Kalbrosky that Napier nearly signed with the Milwaukee Bucks before their deal for Bogdan Bogdanovic fell apart and that the Golden State Warriors were also strongly considering picking him up before they opted to go with Brad Wanamaker instead.
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John Wall’s return significantly elevates expectations surrounding the Wizards next season and will make the team’s offseason decision-making process that much more important. In the case of Napier and Bertans, Washington’s general manager Tommy Sheppard talked highly of both in a Q&A with Dave Johnson Thursday. “I think with [Napier and Bertans], when we acquired them not as rentals we acquired them to stay here,” Sheppard said. “I think the players that we acquired, they’re here to show that they can be here for the future. With Davis and Shabazz, they showed enough to us that certainly we would love to retain them. We plan to.”
Napier started eight games and averaged 12.2 points, 4.4 assists, 2.4 rebounds and 1.7 steals while shooting 43.1% from the field and 38.1% from three. Based on production alone, it’s not that surprising Sheppard wants to bring the former UConn star back. However, if the Wizards can re-sign Napier this summer, they’d have quite a lot of viable point guards on their roster going into next season. Wall will be back and Ish Smith will be in the final year of his two-year contract.
Bobby Marks: Brooklyn now with 14 players (13 guaranteed) under contract after the Shabazz Napier signing. The Nets are right at the cap and can now begin the process of signing Joe Harris (early bird exception) and Ed Davis (room midlevel exception) to exceed the salary cap.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Free agent guard Shabazz Napier has agreed to a two-year deal with the Brooklyn Nets, league sources tell ESPN. Napier, 27, had his best pro season with the Blazers last year.
Shams Charania: Sources: Portland will not extend a qualifying offer to guard Shabazz Napier, allowing him to enter July 1 as an unrestricted free agent. Napier had a strong season as a reserve guard for the Trail Blazers.
Joe Freeman: Shabazz Napier on his impending free agency: “Right now, that’s not something I’m really thinking of. Right now, what’s fresh on my mind is us being swept. That’s all I can think of.”
Jay Allen: Shabazz Napier on if he wants to be back with the #Blazers next season: “Those are things I can’t control.”
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