Nets Rumors: Harris, Okafor, Russell

In his second season with the Nets, Joe Harris has enjoyed a career year, establishing new career bests in PPG (10.7), FG% (.486), 3PT% (.411), and several other categories. However, as Michael Scotto of The Athletic details, Harris isn’t necessarily eager to parlay his success into a big payday with a new team.

“In my short experience in the NBA, this has been a very ideal fit just overall in terms of having the opportunity to play and all the great people that are within the organization,” Harris said of the Nets. “It’s hard to say the grass is greener on the other side or somewhere else.”

While Harris sounds interested in staying in Brooklyn, and agent Mark Bartelstein calls the relationship between the Nets and his client a “great marriage,” the young wing will be in line for a raise. Scotto cites eight NBA executives who believe that Harris will command between $4-7MM annually on a new deal after earning the minimum in 2017/18.

“He shoots, plays hard, cuts, and moves well off the ball,” one Eastern Conference executive said of Harris. “He’s really improved.”

Given how well wings have done in free agency over the past couple years, a deal in the $4-7MM range sounds to me like a conservative estimate for Harris and a possible bargain for a team that ends up with him. If his price tag is in that neighborhood, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Harris back with the Nets next season.

Here’s more out of Brooklyn:

  • A midseason trade from Philadelphia to Brooklyn initially seemed to be the opportunity Jahlil Okafor needed to earn some minutes, but the third-year center isn’t playing much more for the Nets than he did for the Sixers. With unrestricted free agency approaching, Jahlil Okafor said he’ll consider several factors when deciding on a team, but it sounds like an opportunity for more playing time will be at or near the top of his list. “At the end of the day, I want to play basketball,” Okafor said, per Brian Lewis of The New York Post.
  • Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson indicated that Okafor would be in better positioned for a regular role if he’d spent a full offseason and training camp with the squad. However, the 22-year-old sounds unconvinced by that line of thinking, as Lewis details. “I don’t really know what that means. I’ve been here for three or four months,” Okafor said. “Saying a full offseason would help me, I’ve been with these guys for three or four months now, done everything they’ve asked of me. I’m not sure what they want. But everybody’s treated me really well.”
  • Although D’Angelo Russell is still considered an important part of the Nets’ long-term future, there have been some bumps in the road this season. The latest one came on Saturday, when Russell was benched for the final three quarters and overtime in Brooklyn’s win over Miami. NetsDaily has the story.
  • On Sunday, our Austin Kent took a closer look at the stocks of several Nets free-agents-to-be, including Harris and Okafor.
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