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NETS SIGN JOE HARRIS TO FOUR-YEAR, $75 MILLION DEAL

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NBA: Playoffs-Brooklyn Nets at Toronto Raptors Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Harris, who a little less than five years ago was traded, underwent ankle surgery and was cut in a single day, agreed to a four-year, $75 million contract on the first night of free agency Friday. The contract will be among the highest the Nets franchise ever agreed to.

News that the Nets were likely to re-sign the 28-year-old Harris came first from Marc Stein of the Times minutes into free agency...

Then, four hours later, first Shams Charania, then Adrian Wojnarowski provided details...

Minutes after that, Bobby Marks laid what the contract will cost Joe Tsai, the Nets owner who said he’d be willing to pay the luxury tax to be a championship contender...

Minutes after the deal was announced, Tsai himself tweeted out his congratulations ... using a video from Andrew Yang, a Knick fan turned Nets fan, to do it.

Superstars like current teammates Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving and All-Stars Jason Kidd and Deron Williams, have signed for more than Harris. Other than that, only Richard Jefferson who also signed a $75 million contract in 2002, is in the same neighborhood as the Nets veteran.

Two years ago, the Nets signed Harris to a two-year, $16 million deal that was considered a bargain. This contract is more in line with the market for elite shooters and as Woj said Friday night, elite shooters are getting paid this off-season.

The Nets now have 13 players under contract, including Harris and this week’s acquisitions, Bruce Brown and Landry Shamet. (Woj also reported that Garrett Temple, whose $5 million team option wasn’t picked up by Brooklyn this week, has signed a $5 million deal with the Bulls.)

While the signing won’t become official until Sunday at the earliest, it had been considered likely since Sean Marks had said on multiple occasions —as recently as Friday morning— that signing him was the organization’s “No. 1 priority”

“We hope that we can continue to build with Joe,” Marks told reporters Friday. “Joe is an intricate piece to the program here, not only what he does and what everybody sees on the court, but it’s off the court as well. He’s seen this program develop and developed alongside this program. It would certainly be great to have him continue this ride with us.”

Harris had said all the right things about returning to the Nets throughout the season. In May, he said Brooklyn is “my ideal scenario” and back in November, when asked about free agency, replied, “To be honest, personally, I already get paid way too much to play a game. I’m not too worried about it.” Tsai had also signaled his willingness to pay Harris by stating he’d be wiling to pay a luxury tax this season if it helped the Nets become a championship team.

The Nets signed Harris to a vets minimum in July 2016, five months after the Cavaliers had unceremoniously dumped him at the trade deadline, trading him to the Magic while Harris was undergoing surgery on his ankle. While still under the knife, the Magic waived him.

Since then, “Joey Buckets” has become one of the game’s best 3-point shooters. Over the last three years, the Chelan, Washington native is the NBA’s most reliable deep shooter. He led the league in 3-point shooting in 2018-19 with a torrid 47.4 percent pace and won the 3-point shooting context at All-Star Weekend. He is currently 12th all-time in 3-point shooting percentage and fifth among active players at 42.6 percent.

This season, Harris averaged 14.5 points and 3.4 rebounds in 69 games shooting 48.6 percent overall and 42.4 from deep.

The Nets now have one free agent, Chris Chiozza, who’s restricted. The Nets tendered him a qualifying offer on Thursday, indicating a level of interest.