Heat assign Shabazz Napier, Hassan Whiteside to D-League
The Miami Heat announced on Saturday that they will be assigning point guard Shabazz Napier and center Hassan Whiteside to their NBA Developmental League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce.
Whiteside has been regarded by the team as a project since he was signed on Nov. 24, but the assignment for Napier comes as a bit of a surprise after the rookie appeared in all 23 games for the Heat so far this season.
The young point guard has averaged 5.7 points on 42.9 percent shooting along with 2.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 21.4 minutes but has struggled as of late. After a strong showing in the preseason and a double-digit scoring streak of six consecutive games back in November, Napier has seen his averages dip to 3.1 points, 1.1 rebounds and 1.4 assists and 18 minutes during the Heat's 2-5 record in December. He went scoreless in three of the last four games.
The move leaves the Heat vulnerable in the backcourt given the team's recent history of injuries and illnesses so his stint with the Skyforce could be short-lived.
Whiteside has played in three games since signing with the Heat -- who released guard Shannon Brown to make room for him -- and has totaled six points, four rebounds and a block in nine minutes. He previously led the Iowa Energy to a perfect 3-0 record during his time there this season, averaging 22.0 points on 85.7 percent shooting from the field, 15.7 rebounds, 5.33 blocks and 28.7 minutes.