Shabazz Napier had surgery to correct sports hernia on Wednesday morning. His rookie season is over.
Mercifully, please end this season before anything else happens...I'm sure that was the first thought of many Heat fans when news broke about this latest season-ending medical procedure for a Heat player. Napier is now the third player to have his season ended due to a major medical event. Josh McRoberts needed surgery to correct a torn knee meniscus and Chris Bosh is out after a blood clot was detected in his lung.
Napier was a semi-regular part of the Heat's rotation until March 9. That's when playing time dried up almost completely for the rookie the Heat drafted partly because former Heat player LeBron James expressed interest in the University of Connecticut's star point guard. It was this time last year that Napier was leading the UConn Huskies to an NCAA Tournament championship. He was the Most Outstanding Player of the 2014 Final Four, and it was at that time that James commented on Twitter that Napier would be the best point guard in the 2014 NBA Draft.
Napier played in one game for just 10 minutes since March 9. The loss of the Heat's first-round draft pick to surgery is just the latest stunning inury news for a franchise enduring a season of suffering. The team has experienced one setback after another ever since James left for the Cavaliers, who the Heat plays on Thursday in Cleveland. Following James' free agency, the Heat built its roster around Bosh, who re-signed with the team for a max contract, Napier and free agents McRoberts and Luol Deng. Bosh, Napier and McRoberts are now out for what remains of the season (eight games), and Deng missed Tuesday's loss to the San Antonio Spurs with pain in his left knee.
Deng left Saturday's game at halftime after swelling in his knee. That's bad news considering how well Deng guarded James in the Heat's last game against the Cavaliers, a victory at AmericanAirlines Arena. Deng is questionable against the Cavaliers, and so is center Udonis Haslem, who missed Tuesday's game with an illness. Dwyane Wade, who had fluid drained from his left knee on Saturday, is expected to play. Hassan Whiteside, dealing with his own limitations due 10 stitches in his right hand, also is probable.