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NBA Suspends Terrel Harris For Drug Violation

The NBA has announced a five-game suspension for Trail Blazers guard Terrel Harris because of a violation of the league's anti-drug program. The nature of Harris' transgression is not immediately clear.

Harris is on a minimum-salary, non-guaranteed deal with the Blazers that becomes partially guaranteed for $150K if he remains on the roster after October 31st. As long as the Blazers don't waive him, he'll get to attend training camp and take part in preseason games with the team, but he's set to miss the first five regular season games. The suspension will carry over if the Blazers cut him and he signs with another NBA club. Harris must serve the suspension without pay, so it would cost him $53,920 out of his full $884,293 salary for this season. 

Porter Fischer, the whistleblower in the Biogenesis scandal that's rocking baseball, has claimed that NBA players are involved, but no credible evidence has come forward linking anyone in the league to the Miami clinic that allegedly supplied performmance-enhancing drugs to high-profile athletes. Harris spent 2011/12 and part of 2012/13 as a member of the Heat, though his proximity to the clinic may simply be circumstantial.

The length of the suspension indicates no link to PEDs, as USA Today's Jeff Zillgitt notes (via Twitter). The NBA's collective bargaining agreement calls for a 20-game suspension the first time a player is caught using PEDs.

The Blazers acquired Harris as part of the three-team deal that also brought Robin Lopez to Portland. As Mike Tokito of The Oregonian writes, Harris isn't expected to be part of the team's long-term plans, so the suspension may not affect the Blazers.

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