The Heat, who lead Yahoo Sports' NBA draft Winners and Losers, accomplished that feat by trading for the draft rights to Napier.
"It's the craziest feeling ever because he is one of the best players in the world," Napier said. "For him to know my talents and to believe that I can help or do anything is spectacular."
The Heat are on alert after James opted out of his contract earlier this week to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. One objective for the Heat is to add a stronger supporting cast to convince the four-time NBA Most Valuable Player to re-sign after losing in the 2014 NBA Finals. Miami took the first possible step by acquiring Napier's rights.
"If me coming there helps him come back, it just betters our chances of being able to compete as a team," Napier said.
James sent out a Tweet on April 7 during the NCAA men's basketball national championship game that stated:
Napier was named the Most Outstanding Player at the Final Four after scoring 22 points and getting six rebounds to lead UConn to a championship with a 60-54 win over Kentucky.
On draft night, James also Tweeted out:
Miami traded its first-round pick, No. 26 overall, and two second-round picks to the Charlotte Hornets to move up two spots to select Napier. The Heat have more work to do to convince James to re-sign, but the Napier move does show that they are listening and making an initial concerted effort.
"This is somebody that's a cool guy and I'm pretty sure he's wanting to work," Napier said. "That's the type of people that I want to be around. ... There is no pressure at all."
When asked if he has heard from James after being acquired by Miami, Napier said: "No. He doesn't have my number."
Here are more winners and losers from Thursday night's draft:
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced that Austin was the NBA's draft selection in a ceremonial choice. An emotional Austin walked to the draft podium wearing an NBA cap and hugged Silver while the crowd responded with a standing ovation. Austin, who also has a prosthetic right eye, was projected as a second-round pick in this year's draft.Isaiah Austin: The former Baylor center's dream of playing in the NBA came to an abrupt end when he recently learned that he had Marfan syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that affects the heart. Between the 15th and 16th picks of the draft,
"I have a whole life ahead of me," Austin said. "I'm not going to sit here and I'm not going to sulk about not being able to play basketball anymore, because I can still be involved with the game somehow or some way."
Canada: Our northern neighbor produced the No. 1 pick for the second straight year in the draft when former Kansas swingman Andrew Wiggins was selected first overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Canada had four players selected overall with three in the first round in Wiggins, the Sacramento Kings' Nik Stauskas and the Phoenix Suns' Tyler Ennis and one in the second round in New Orleans Pelican Dwight Powell.
"Great thing for Canada, actually," Wiggins said. "Before this, no player from Canada has been No. 1. And now we have two back-to-back No. 1s [including Anthony Bennett, taken by Cleveland in 2013]. So it's a huge accomplishment for Canada. It opens so much more doors for all the kids in Canada."
Chicago Bulls: The Bulls moved up to the 11th pick in the draft by trading the 16th and 19th selections to the Denver Nuggets. Chicago used the 11th selection to draft possibly the best shooter available in former Creighton forward Doug McDermott, who is expected to make an immediate impact. The Bulls also cleared some salary cap space by losing one draft pick that could play a role in their hopes to acquire a major free agent like the New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony.
When asked about playing with Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and possibly Anthony in Chicago, McDermott said: "I've just been trying to enjoy the moment. D-Rose is one of my favorite players. I was a huge [Florida] Gator fan so I love Joakim. I can't even believe I'm about to join their team."
T.J. WARREN: The Suns made a draft promise to select the former North Carolina State forward, a source told Yahoo Sports. Phoenix lived up to that promise by selecting the 2014 Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year with the 14th overall pick, which was higher than he was projected. Indiana Pacers forward David West also supported his mentee Warren by sitting at his draft table in the green room area.
"I tried to tell you about Warren a long time ago," West said.
Joel Embiid: The former Kansas forward broke his foot during the end of a workout in Cleveland, a source said. He had foot surgery that could keep him sidelined four to six months and also has a serious back issue. The 7-foot-1, 260-pounder was projected to be the No. 1 pick in the draft prior to breaking his foot.
One NBA scout said that if healthy Embiid could be one of the top 10 players in the league. After entering the draft with talk he could drop, Embiid was selected third overall by the rebuilding Philadelphia 76ers. Kansas coach Bill Self said Embiid has hopes of possibly being able to play in January.
"I can't wait until he gets back on the court and he's healthy," Sixers guard Michael Carter-Williams said. "Embiid is going to be a great piece to our team. I spoke to him. He is happy to be here."
James Young: News broke a day before the draft that the former Kentucky forward missed a couple NBA workouts for personal reasons and was recently in a minor car accident, a source told Yahoo Sports. Young was initially viewed as a possible lottery selection, but there was talk he could fall into the second round due to poor workouts and the off-the-court issues. The sharpshooter saved face by being selected 17th overall by the Boston Celtics.
"I'm going to do well going to the Celtics," Young said.
Wiggins' attire: Wiggins wore what could end up going down as one of the most debated draft outfits in NBA history that was highlighted further by him being the No. 1 pick. He wore a black tuxedo sport coat highlighted with white floral patterns, a bow tie, slender black slacks and black shoes with no socks.
Suit designer Waraire Boswell, who has also worked with James, Blake Griffin and Chris Bosh, told Women's Wear Daily the design is typically reserved for European royalty.
"It's super-exclusive, and we were told it was for when royals vacation or go to a country club," Boswell told Women's Wear Daily. "It's a European bird's-eye fabric. I guarantee no one will have anything even close to what he's wearing."
Boswell was right.
Philadelphia 76ers: The Sixers were without their draft pick Nerlens Noel the entire 2013-14 season as he recovered from knee surgery. Philadelphia had the NBA's second-worst record last season with a 19-63 mark while also suffering a 26-game losing streak. The Sixers could be without Embiid next season if he recovers slowly from foot surgery. Philadelphia also acquired the draft rights to Croatian forward Dario Saric, who has said he will play the next two seasons in Turkey.
"I signed before the draft because I'm choosing a better option for me to stay two more years in Europe to get more experience, to bring my basketball to another level," Saric said.
Early draft entrants: Ex-Missouri guard Jabari Brown, ex-Arizona State guard Jahii Carson and ex-North Carolina forward James McAdoo were underclassmen who went undrafted. Ex-Clemson small forward K.J. McDaniels, would likely would have been projected as a lottery pick next year, was taken with the 32nd overall pick in the second round by the Sixers. Former Colorado point guard Spencer Dinwiddie, who left school after his sophomore year following knee surgery, was selected with the 38th pick in the second round by the Detroit Pistons. Other underclassmen in the second round: Jarnell Stokes (Tennessee), Johnny O'Bryant (LSU), DeAndre Daniels (UConn), Glenn Robinson (Michigan), Jerami Grant (Syracuse), Nick Johnson (Arizona) and Semaj Christon (Xavier).
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