Tom Dowd of the Nets official site caught up with Joe Harris in Las Vegas and spoke with him about what turned out to be a relatively simple free agency: Harris wanted to stay; Nets wanted him back. Done deal ... at two years and $16 million.
“I had told my agent, Kenny and Sean and everybody in the organization that although I was going to be an unrestricted free agent, Brooklyn was where I wanted to come back to,” said Harris. “I felt most comfortable playing for Kenny, playing in an organization led by Sean and what they both have built. With what they’ve instilled, I felt culturally, philosophically we were on the same page and definitely aligned that way....
“I believe in Kenny. I believe in Sean.”
Harris of course had his best season in the NBA last year, averaging better than 10 points a game and meeting his goal of hitting 40 percent of his three’s for the season, finishing at 41.9 percent, getting better all the time. As Dowd points out, the 6’6” swingman hit 46.7 percent from 3-point range over his final 44 games of the season, 47.1 percent after the All-Star Break, the best in the NBA.
He also improved his ability to finish at the rim, leading the NBA in that category and bettering his defense. Harris talked as well as his goals for next season and what he’s doing about it.
“It’s one thing for me to shoot above 40 percent this past season, but I’m trying to build on it and be consistent over these next couple of seasons,” said Harris. “So I’m going to remain diligent in my approach, the things I was really focusing on that are different areas that I highlighted coming into the summer. A lot of physical stuff, improving laterally, quickness, speed, that sort of stuff...”
One area where Harris excelled that didn’t get a lot of attention, leadership. He was widely regarded as the best teammate on the Nets and two days ago, D’Angelo Russell noted that he modeled his character after Harris.
“I think we had to get it done and we got it done,” said Russell of the Harris agreement. “He’s a guy that you start really building a culture, he’s one of the first guys you want to start with. He’s a professional too. I watched him this year just be a professional, a complete professional on and off the court. He kind of gave me that blueprint on how to be a professional just from watching and observing.”
That alone is worth big bucks.
Harris, like a number of his teammates thinks the team’s culture, combined with continuity, will help the Nets surprise this coming season.
“It’s a family-first organization and they want that to be noticeable in the organization with the players,” said Harris. “They don’t force anything on us. But guys, we tend to gravitate and want to hang out and be around each other. There’s good chemistry and continuity. Ultimately it’s going to help us be better. The teams that have got good continuity, good chemistry typically have more success.”
- BROOKLYN NETS SUMMER LEAGUE: JOE HARRIS HAS FOUND A HOME IN BROOKLYN - Tom Dowd - Brooklyn Nets
- Joe Harris comfortable staying with Nets - Greg Logan - Newsday