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Joe Harris: Signing with Nets was practical, not sentimental

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

When Joe Harris signed his new, two-year, $16 million deal with the Nets, there were reports he could have possibly gotten more elsewhere. Sean Marks said as much in last Wednesday’s conference call with season ticket holders.

“You get a guy like Joe who could’ve gone elsewhere for more money,” Marks said. “That makes us feel special that a guy is saying I appreciate what you guys have done, but I want to come back here and help you build this, not give up on Brooklyn. He’s here and he wants to be a part of it.”

Harris appreciates that, as he told Brian Lewis on Tuesday, but he says his decision to stay was a practical one, not sentimental.

“I could’ve got a longer deal. But I talked about the relationship I had with Sean, with [coach] Kenny [Atkinson], with all my teammates,” Harris told Lewis.

“Everybody knows what you’re about and what you bring. It’s hard to duplicate that. It takes a lot of time. … If you go somewhere else it’s difficult. You’re not going to get that instantly. Then factor in I have comfort with the system. I just felt like although it was a two-year deal versus a longer deal this was the best case for me.”

Harris, of course, is the epitome of what the Nets have been in their first two years under Marks and Atkinson. On January 12, 2016, he was traded to the Magic by the Cavaliers, underwent surgery on his ankle and was waived by Orlando. A few months later, Atkinson was telling him the Nets saw him as their Kyle Korver. Although Harris hasn’t put up gaudy numbers like Korver, he was second in 3-point shooting in the NBA after January 1 and first in the 25 games after the All-Star Break.

It’s not just his on-the-court development either. He’s generally regarded as the Nets’ best teammate and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson calls him the hardest working teammate he’s seen in his three years with the Nets.

“I remember seeing him the day after he had signed the deal and he was walking across the parking lot, baseball cap on, earphones in and high-fiving workers,” said Marks last week. “And that’s Joe: That’s who he is. I was very proud witnessing that. I was in the car driving by and I [thought] we made the right decision.”