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NETS SIGN JOE HARRIS TO TWO YEARS, $16 MILLION

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Los Angeles Clippers v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

The Nets and Joe Harris have said all the right things about extending their partnership this summer ... AND on Friday night, just minutes before midnight, they put it in writing.

Adrian Wojnarowski reported ...

Woj’s ESPN colleague reports that while a deal is done, the Nets and Harris can wait till the end of free agency to actually put pen to paper...

At the end of the season, both Sean Marks and Harris talked about how they hoped things would work out.

“I think Joe made it pretty clear from statements he made that he’d love to be back here,” said Marks at the end-of-season press conference. “That’s how the organization feels about him too. As Kenny alluded to before, we’ve got some decisions to make on several, and definitely Joe is a guy we see in a Nets uniform.”

“My hope and I know what I have kind of expressed to everyone is that I have enjoyed being here, I enjoy being in Brooklyn and I like being a part of this organization,” Harris said the day before. “I think they’re about the right stuff and I don’t really envision myself being anywhere else.”

But it looked like the Nets could have some competition. Three weeks ago, his name was mentioned as a candidate for Golden State’s $5.2 million

Then Saturday night, Adrian Wojnarowski added the Pacers to the list, after Indy’s top target, Will Barton of the Nuggets, seemed to staying in Denver...

But in the end, the Nets got the deal done.

Harris of course had a great year coming off the bench. The 26-year-old established himself as a top shooter ... and scorer.

In his fourth season in the NBA, he averaged personal bests in points (10.8), rebounds (3.3), field goal percentage (49.1), three-point percentage (41.9) and free throw percentage (82.7). More impressively, he was the best player in the NBA in scoring on drives to the rim (62.7 percent), topping second-placed LeBron James.

Losing Harris wouldn’t have just been a blow to the team’s chances next year. It would be a psychic loss. Harris is the poster guy for the Nets development strategy, a player who the Nets picked up off the NBA scrap heap and made into a top-flight reserve.

The deal gives both sides flexibility going into the 2021-2022 season when the salary cap is due for a big jump.

Meanwhile, the Nets and Isaiah Whitehead agreed to push back the guarantee date on the guard’s $1.5 million team option. Mike Scotto had the news...

Meanwhile, it looked increasingly like LeBron James is headed to Los Angeles. Paul George will stay in Oklahoma City, putting more pressure on the Lakers to trade for Kawhi Leonard. In addition, DeAndre Jordan is moving to Dallas, Irsan Ilyasova is back in Milwaukee, Marco Belinelli has returned to San Antonio and in the two biggest deals, Nikola Jokic agreed to a new deal with the Bucks for $147.7 million and Chris Paul extended his time with the Rockets with a four-year $160 million contract.