LeBron James happy Heat traded for Shabazz Napier


Pat Riley said late Thursday night in Miami — after his Heat had traded up to get UConn point guard Shabazz Napier in the draft — that he went after Napier because he liked Napier’s game. Because he’s competitive and a “winner.”

It had nothing to do with the fact LeBron James wanted Napier.

Nope. Not one bit. Why would you even think that?

Still, LeBron was pretty pumped about the selection.

Nobody thinks Napier is the answer to Miami’s roster issues, certainly not Riley or Lebron. Fixing Miami starts with Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade opting out and taking less money. They have until Monday to make that announcement.

But in the short term, the Heat just a guy who looks like he should be a good backup point guard. That’s a start.

And by the way, LeBron likes him.

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Greg Smith fails physical, will not join Pelicans

Greg Smith
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With both starter Omer Asik and backup Alexis Ajinca out injured for the rest of the preseason (and maybe a little longer), the Pelicans are looking for a center to put next to Anthony Davis for a stretch. That could include a handful of regular season games.

Greg Smith was going to be that man, but the 24-year-old failed his physical, reports the Times-Picayune.

The New Orleans Pelicans were set to sign power forward Greg Smith, but sources said Friday night that he failed his physical examination and will not be joining the team.

And so the search goes on.

The problem is, there are not quality big men still out there on the market, there is a limited supply and just about anyone worth having is spoken for. A few with non-guaranteed contracts may be waived as we get closer to the end of training camps, but that is likely a couple of weeks away.

With both Asik and Ajinca expected back in a few weeks, it’s not worth making a trade or some big move to bring in a center, the Pelicans are just going to have to live with what is out there.

Kevin Durant with huge dunk on visiting Fenerbahce Ulker

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Welcome to America, Fenerbahce Ulker.

The Turkish powerhouse was in America playing some exhibition games this preseason, and they got a first-hand reminder that Kevin Durant is back. KD had 13 points in the Thunder’s easy 111-81 win.

Not to be outdone, Russell Westbrook got in on the act.