It sounded a little like a goodbye, Joe Harris’ comments to the media Wednesday, one day before the trade deadline. The Nets 6’6” shooting guard is reportedly coveted by a number of teams and if he goes, he’ll go with a heavy heart.
“I love being a part of this organization,” Harris said before starting against the Pistons Wednesday night. “My experience in Cleveland was quite a bit different than here, not only from the playing standpoint but just culturally this organization is different.
“Not to say one is right or wrong, but I do appreciate the way that they do things here. That is something you can’t take for granted and that I appreciate being a part of.”
Harris was more than a free agent when the Nets signed him in the summer of 2016 to a one-year vets minimum deal with a team option on year 2. He was abandoned. Harris had been drafted by Cleveland in 2014 and played 51 games his rookie years. The next season, he spent most of his time at Canton, the Cavs’ G-League team, then in January 2017 felt some foot soreness.
In quick order, he was diagnosed with a broken foot, underwent surgery, was traded to the Magic and cut. No ring for him, just a pink slip. The Nets liked his shooting and signed him. He thought he was “almost on my way out of this league.”
The Nets developed him and now, he may have too much value to keep, as strange as that seems. The Nets, with their logjam at guard, are taking offers for him. Whatever happens before 3 p.m. Thursday, Harris credits the Nets.
And if he goes?
“I’ve been thankful, one, for the opportunity and then, the fact that they’ve taken such pride in development and working with our young players,” Harris said. “You can kind of go across the board and see how much each of us have improved. A lot of that is a testament to Kenny and the staff and their approach to development.”
We shall see.
- Joe Harris credits Nets for his new NBA value - Greg Logan - Newsday