LeBron James tweeted Thursday that Shabazz Napier was his favorite player in the NBA Draft.
Now Napier is a member of James’s former — but possibly future — team after the Heat acquired the draft rights to Napier from the Hornets. Charlotte picked the former University of Connecticut guard with the 24th selection. A person familiar with the deal told the AP that the Hornets sent Napier to Miami for the 26th and 55th picks Thursday.
The person spoke to the AP Thursday on condition of anonymity because the trade had not yet been completed by the NBA.
The Heat selected P.J. Hairston at No. 26, and the former North Carolina guard, through the NBA Development League, will go to Charlotte.
Napier, a 22-year-old Roxbury native who attended Charlestown High, won his second national championship at UConn in April. He led the team with 18 points, 4.9 assists, and 1.8 steals per game, while second in rebounds (5.9).
James has opted out of the last two years of his Heat contract and will become a free agent. But James and other members of Miami’s Big Three, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, have met since James’s declaration, perhaps a sign of their desire to stay together with an improved supporting cast.
Napier’s UConn teammate, foward DeAndre Daniels, went 37th overall to the Raptors. Former Brewster Academy star, Michigan forward Mitch McGary, went 21st to the Thunder.
The Bulls acquired the draft rights to Creighton’s high-scoring forward Doug McDermott, according to multiple reports.
The Nuggets took McDermott at No. 11 and dealt him to Chicago for the 16th and 19th picks, Bosnian center Jusuf Nurkic and Michigan State guard Gary Harris. McDermott led the nation in scoring last season with a 26.7 average and shot 52.6 percent from the field, including 44.9 percent from 3-point range. He finished his college career as basketball’s fifth-leading scorer and was selected The Associated Press player of the year.
Earlier in the day, Denver acquired shooting guard Arron Afflalo from Orlando for guard Evan Fournier and the No. 56 pick. Afflalo played for the Nuggets for three seasons before being dealt to Orlando in 2012, as part of the blockbuster four-team, 12-player deal that also involved Dwight Howard. Afflalo averaged 18 points for the Magic last season.
Orlando used the No. 56 pick on Iowa forward Devyn Marble.
The Magic were active traders during the draft too, acquiring the 10th overall pick, guard Elfrid Payton of Louisiana-Lafayette, from the 76ers for the rights of Croatia’s Dario Saric, whom Orlando selected at No. 12. Philadelphia also gets Orlando’s 2015 second-round pick and a future first-round it received from Philadelphia in the Howard deal.
The Jazz selected Tennessee forward Jarnell Stokes with the 35th pick then dealt him to the Grizzlies for a second-round pick in 2016.
The Nets made a late move into the draft, acquiring the rights to No. 44 pick Markel Brown from Minnesota. The Nets sent the Timberwolves cash considerations for the guard from Oklahoma State.
The Wizards agreed to sell the draft rights of second-round pick Jordan Clarkson, a guard out of Missouri taken 46th, to the Lakers.
The Timberwolves traded the 53d pick to the Rockets for cash considerations. Houston selected Italian forward Alessandro Gentile.
Between the announcements of the 15th and 16th picks came a very special selection by the NBA. Commissioner Adam Silver announced that the NBA would let Isaiah Austin fulfill the dream of every young player, making him a ceremonial pick. Just over a week ago, the sophomore center from Baylor was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that affects the heart. It ended his playing career. The illness was discovered during a physical for the draft. The crowd at Barclays Center in New York rose to its feet as Austin, sitting in the waiting area with most of the first-round picks, hugged family members and put on a generic NBA cap. He went up to the stage and posed with Silver, just as all the drafts picks do when they are called. Austin was expected to be a high pick . . . Despite having no picks this year, the Trail Blazers still made news by offering All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge a maximum contract extension. The offer was confirmed Thursday by a person close to the negotiations who could not comment publicly because the team had not formally announced it. Aldridge, in the fifth and final year of a $65 million contract, is set to become a free agent next summer. The Blazers hope to lure him to stay with a five-year, $108 million extension.