While not an elite athlete as a point guard, Napier is quick, shifty, has good lateral quickness, and good straight line speed. He has quick hands, anticipates well, and surprised some with his vertical ability at the combine. That said, he's not an explosive run/dunk athlete.
At the NBA level, Napier is below average for today’s NBA point guard. Napier measured in at only 5'11 barefoot, 6'1 in shoes. He's 175lbs and has a small wing span at 6'3. While at 6’1 and 175 pounds a little of the worry is that he only possesses a 6’3 wing-span which makes him short and light relative to his peers. However, Napier is feisty enough to hold his own at the next level.
Basketball-IQ wise, Napier is hot and cold when it comes to making the right basketball play. At times, he shows a great understanding of seeing a play unfold or the knack for a spectacular find not many players might see. Other times, Napier is caught trying to do too much and it hurt his team in spurts. The key at the next level will be for Napier to know when to pick his spots and not get to overzealous when on a hot streak.
Skill-wise, Napier is very good offensively. His greatest strength is playmaking. He does well in terms of getting to his spot for a fade-away jumper, step-back jumper, or pass to a cutter or shooter. If not using his great handles to get to his spot, Napier has a great 3 point shot as witnessed by shooting near 41% on over 5 attempts per game.
Defensively, Napier shows great anticipation and very quick hands and recorded nearly two steals per game. He's also very quick laterally and is able to stop penetration from opposing point guards. While only 6’1, Napier averaged a surprising 6 rebounds a game which is incredible given his average athleticism and height.
While Napier is feisty, sometimes he is overaggressive to the detriment of the team. Several times, he would over-penetrate and either turn the ball over or shoot a terrible shot. Defensively, Napier can be beat by overextending pressure too often. His coach will either have to reign him in a bit or live with these rash decisions.
Napier is the only player in this draft that has won two championships at the NCAA level. Combined with his will, skill, and grit (Bulls favorite), he favors at his ceiling to Mike Bibby. At his floor, Napier is a good backup point guard.
Some people might love his leadership ability as he challenges others. At other times, his strong-willed flashes some immaturity. Whichever team drafts him will have to take a risk knowing he could be a great pick or could be a headache. While he has the chance to be a good point guard, his ceiling is limited. I do feel he'll be a better point guard than the more explosive Elfrid Payton or solid Tyler Ennis.
At this point, Napier’s draft pick range might be from mid-first to late-first. Based on his skill level, basketball smarts, and will, he will be better than many players picked ahead of him.
Fit with Bulls
At pick 16, I feel Napier might be a little too high and we might have other needs to fill. However, the Bulls need playmakers and at least a good backup option at point guard for Rose. With Napier’s will and skill, I don’t doubt his ability to be at minimum a great off-the-bench option.
I just think unless the Bulls Front Office knows about other moves, that we might want to use our assets elsewhere. I also feel the Bulls might look for a taller point guard to pair with Rose off the ball at times.