The Portland Trail Blazers opted to not extend Shabazz Napier the qualifying offer, and the point guard ended up signing a two-year deal with the Brooklyn Nets. While Napier enjoyed a career year with Portland, he believes he still has more to show (via Nets staff writer Tom Dowd):
“A lot of people were excited by what I did last year,” said Napier. “To be honest with you, I didn’t think I did anything too special. I felt like I did fill a void that was needed, playing with Dame and C.J. and the rest of the guys, being able to play off the ball, being able to play defense. But I know for sure there’s more I can bring to the table. I’m excited about that. I’m excited about the years to come. Like I said earlier, I think this is the perfect spot for me to continue to grow with a young core and with a great coaching staff. I think this is the perfect scenario for me to be in.”
Napier also consulted with former Blazers Allen Crabbe and Ed Davis. Crabbe was traded to Brooklyn last summer after signing an offer sheet with them in 2016, and Davis signed with the Nets this summer (via Bryan Fonseca of Nets Daily):
“Yeah, I talk to Allen Crabbe a lot, Ed Davis as well,” Napier said of his former Blazer teammates, who will all represent Brooklyn this coming season. “Those are my guys from Portland. I was in California at the time. Me and Allen exchange texts all the time. It was just a text message here and there, a call here and there before I made my decision to understand the type of environment Brooklyn is and the facility and everything. All I heard was great things about it. It was easy for me to choose after that.”
Napier posted a career-high 8.7 points per game last season along with career highs in field goal percentage (42 percent) and 3-point percentage (37.6 percent).