Let me just be clear about something: my fantasy basketball team is named "Shabazz Nice.". Yes, that includes the period. Since being drafted 24th overall by the at-the-time Charlotte Bobcats, Napier hasn't seen much playing time. Traded almost immediately to the Heat, Napier spent his time bouncing back and forth between the NBA and the D-League. He was traded from Miami to Orlando in exchange for a top-55 protected pick, then from Orlando to Portland for cash considerations. Let's go over that for a second. Napier was traded for a future bottom five second round pick and then for an undisclosed amount of cash. Is this the same guy who single handedly led UConn to a chip over Julius Randle's Kentucky?
Napier was a heady player in college and that hasn't changed since coming to the NBA. Just look at the way he exploits the switch at :27. Or how about his understanding of the pick and pop game at 1:59? His shooting mechanics off the dribble aren't all there—look at the way his legs snap out when he pulls up off the bounce, but he certainly knows how to get his own shot. Remember what he did in Brooklyn?
Napier is stuck behind Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Evan Turner, and Allen Crabbe. With the way that Terry Stotts staggers Lillard and McCollum's minutes and Evan Turner's ball handling ability, that leaves a scarce amount of time for a guy like Shabazz. He's an admittedly poor individual defender, poor measurables (6'-1" with a 6'-3" wingspan) hold him back from being able to lock up a man, one on one. However, time as a four-year college player means he knows where to be within a team defense. I think Shabazz is a perfectly serviceable back-up point guard. Just not in Portland.
Here's another undersized combo guard who just knows how to play basketball. Two years at Louisville under Rick Pitino is like four years under Tom Thibodeau. Rozier was the guy for the Cardinals, initiating the offense by picking up full court almost every possession. As a result, he has great defensive instincts and in his limited minutes, was a nightmare to dribble and pass around. He's a high energy player who zips around the court with abandon. He had a handful of great games as a rookie, including this one against the Nets: