Earlier today, the Magic agreed to acquire Shabazz Napier from the Heat in exchange for a protected future second-round pick. The only way the Heat will get the Magic’s second-round pick in 2016 will be if Orlando finishes with one of the NBA’s five best records during the 2015-16 regular season. If the Magic’s second-round pick falls anywhere from 31st overall through 55th overall, the Magic would keep the pick. Miami wanted to deal Napier because of luxury tax concerns, according to previous reports. Napier is set to make about $1.3MM this season and has a team option on his salary for the 2016/17 season. Therefore, the reported deal will allow the Heat to create a trade exception worth $1,294,440, the precise value of Napier’s salary this season.
Here are some reactions from around the industry to the move:
- Dealing Napier could be a sign that the Heat is keeping guard Mario Chalmers, who Miami has reportedly been shopping, Joseph Goodman of The Miami Herald writes. It’s still very possible Miami trades Chalmers, however, Goodman adds, because he is owed $4.3MM next season.
- With Napier gone, Heat fans will have one less reminder of LeBron James, Goodman adds in the same piece. James pushed for the team to draft Napier, who mostly struggled as a rookie. The fact Miami was willing to trade Napier to a division rival means that the team does not view the guard as much of a threat, Goodman concludes.
- From the Magic’s point of view, the deal is a good one because there is no risk involved, Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel writes. The Magic benefit because they will acquire a young player with upside, Robbins adds.
- In the same piece, Robbins points out that Napier’s arrival might very well be bad news for Keith Appling, who the Magic agreed to sign last week to a two-year deal that includes a small guarantee. The contract will give Appling a chance to participate in the Magic’s training camp, but Napier’s presence likely will make it difficult for Appling to make the regular-season roster, Robbins writes.
- The trade has a lot to do with the Heat’s depth chart, considering Miami also has Josh Richardson and Tyler Johnson as guards, according to Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel (Twitter link). The Heat could save more than $4MM with the deal, but that only would be the case if the team chooses to carry only 14 players, Winderman tweets.