Before LeBron James bolted Miami to return to Cleveland as a free agent last summer, he made it known that he liked Shabazz Napier, who was projected as a late first-round pick.
The Heat traded up to grab him, and of course, Pat Riley denied that LeBron’s comment had anything at all to do with that decision.
In advance of the draft this year, however, Riley made a comment that let us all know just how much influence LeBron happened to have.
Napier may turn out to have value after all. He looked great at Summer League on Monday, and finished with 20 points on 7-of-14 shooting, to go along with six rebounds and six assists in a little more than 24 minutes of action.
Players who played significant NBA minutes last year tend to tear it up at Summer League, so any optimism gleaned from this performance should be done with caution. But Napier did plenty to show he’s capable nonetheless.