Saturday, June 25, 2022

Nets make final decision on Joe Harris future: report

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Now that the NBA draft is over, free agency and trade season is officially upon us. After being swept by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs this year, general manager Sean Marks has to make a move that will significantly improve the Brooklyn Nets roster. Especially if they want to be contenders next season.

HoopsHype’s Michael A. Scotto says the Nets have started receiving calls about their beginning sniper Joe Harris as well as standout rookie Cam Thomas. The jury is still out on Thomas’ future in Brooklyn, but as for Harris, Scotto reports that the Nets are “internally” uninterested in trading him.

“Internally, the Nets believe Harris’ size can help them on the boards next season, and his ground clearance would help Ben Simmons thrive with the team in the transition period and create lanes for the Aussie forward,” writes Scotto per “HoopsHype.” A possible lineup of Irving, Curry, Harris, Simmons and Kevin Durant would give Simmons maximum ground clearance to thrive and would be a nightmare to cover him defensively.

Harris and fellow sniper Seth Curry could offer the nets a variety of distances. The two shooters, combined with Ben Simmons’ defense and playmaking, could resemble the Warriors’ death lineup of Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry and Draymond Green, which also featured Durant.

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Cam Thomas was one of the Nets’ best rookies last year and showed brilliant flashes in the second half of her season. He had a 46-point breakout during his time in the G-League and posted an NBA career-high 30 points against the Utah Jazz in February.

The consensus following his rookie season seems to be that the sky is the limit for Thomas. For a team like the Nets, who are in win-now mode, he might not be of much value. But according to Scotto, competing executives believe Thomas could be worth as much as a first-round pick. They also believe Harris could be more available than in previous years due to the addition of Curry.

“Rival executives believe Thomas could be a potential first-round pick in trade talks,” Scotto writes. “Joe Harris is the team’s most realistic trading advantage should Brooklyn try to move up at another position. Rival teams believe Harris could have more availability than in previous years with fellow sniper Seth Curry signed next season for $8.5 million.”

Harris has not played an NBA game since Nov. 12 after sustaining an ankle injury that required surgery earlier in the season. He and the Nets decided that in-season surgery was the best option, allowing him to return to the court later in the year rather than having to deal with relapses. But that’s the opposite of what happened. Harris suffered several setbacks in his recovery, eventually having to undergo a second surgery that ended his season.

He and Ben Simmons missed basketball for 19 months together. It’s not ideal for two players who will be key players in the Nets rotation. No one knows what direction Brooklyn is headed this offseason, especially with the futures of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant still undecided. But with Irving’s June 29 filing deadline fast approaching, Brooklyn will soon have her answer.

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