Joe Harris

Agent Says Joe Harris Is “100 Percent” After Ankle Surgeries

Nets swingman Joe Harris is fully recovered after undergoing two surgeries on his left ankle and will be ready for the start of training camp, his agent, Mark Bartelstein of Priority Sports, told Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Bartelstein confirmed that Harris has been medically cleared for 5-on-5 play.

“He’s doing great. He’s great,” Bartelstein said. “He’s 100 percent. He’s in a great place.”

Harris was limited to 14 games last season after injuring the ankle in mid-November. His first surgery was to remove a bone particle in the ankle, and he was projected to return within four to eight weeks. Brooklyn announced in March that he would need ligament reconstruction surgery and would miss the rest of the season.

The Nets’ three-point shooting suffered without Harris, who led the NBA in that category during the 2020/21 season by hitting 47.5% from beyond the arc. Lewis notes that Brooklyn had an effective field-goal percentage of .563 during the brief time that Harris played last season, but that number fell to .537 without him.

Harris is one of five Nets who will be coming off surgery when training camp opens, along with Seth Curry, Ben Simmons, T.J. Warren and Edmond Sumner.

There was a report in July that Brooklyn wanted to unload Harris’ contract, which pays him $38.6MM over the next two seasons, in trade talks with the Lakers involving Kyrie Irving. However, Lewis hears that the team had always planned to keep him.

“I know he’s someone they value at the highest level,” Bartelstein said. “There’s no question about that.”

New York Notes: Irving, Durant, Harris, Grimes, Quickley, Toppin

The Nets have leverage in trade negotiations and intend to use it, which could drag out the process into training camp, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes.

Kyrie Irving has opted in to the last year of his deal and Kevin Durant‘s four-year extension is just getting underway. So, they can take their time finding the right trade package. It’s also hard to imagine Durant holding out or refusing to play, as Ben Simmons did in Philadelphia, if the Nets don’t deal him.

We have more on the New York teams:

  • In the same piece, Lewis quotes a league source as saying the Nets are opposed to the idea of trading Joe Harris. Holding onto Harris could indicate a retooling on the fly, while trading the 3-point specialist would signal a major rebuild. “I know the Nets absolutely do not want to trade Joe under any scenario,” the source told Lewis. “But there are just thousands of different ways this can play out.”
  • Quentin Grimes, who is on the Knicks’ summer league squad, could be in the mix for a starting job when the regular season begins, according to Steve Popper of Newsday. The 2021 first-round pick showed some promise last season with his defense and 3-point shooting. A bout with COVID-19 and a dislocated patella marred his rookie season. Grimes could get a shot to start if the Knicks deal Evan Fournier.
  • The free agent additions of Jalen Brunson and Isaiah Hartenstein leave Immanuel Quickley and Obi Toppin as likely second-unit performers, Zach Braziller of the New York Post notes. The latter duo finished last season on a high note with expanded roles but they project as reserves next season.

Nets, Lakers Discussing Irving-Westbrook Deal

7:06pm: The Nets are characterizing trade talks with the Lakers as “preliminary,” Haynes tweets.


6:47pm: The Nets and Lakers are holding active discussions about a trade that would include Kyrie Irving and Russell Westbrook, writes Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

Haynes cites “palpable optimism” that a deal can be finalized, but sources tell him there are several details to be worked out.

The Nets want to include sharpshooting guard Joe Harris, who is owed $38.6MM over the next two years, according to Haynes. Harris is coming off left ankle surgery and was limited to 14 games this season.

The Lakers are reluctant to take on Harris’ contract and want the Nets to give up Seth Curry instead. Curry is also a proficient outside shooter and has an $8.5MM expiring contract.

Irving and Westbrook both picked up their player options this week, but the two sides have to figure out how to match salaries. Irving will make $36.5MM next season, while Westbrook is owed $47MM. The Nets are also seeking draft compensation in the deal.

Haynes notes that Brooklyn isn’t in a hurry to complete an Irving trade and is sifting through numerous offers for Kevin Durant at the same time.

Scotto’s Latest: Jazz, Raptors, Nets, DiVincenzo

Before they reached an agreement to send Rudy Gobert to Minnesota on Friday, the Jazz asked the Raptors about the possibility of acquiring forward OG Anunoby and swingman Gary Trent Jr., league sources tell Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.

Toronto was linked to Gobert repeatedly during the first half of the offseason. Still, as great as the three-time Defensive Player of the Year is, it was never clear how badly the Raptors wanted to break up their core to acquire a big man who didn’t fit the versatile, switchable, and positionless brand of basketball the team has adopted. Whether the Raptors balked at Utah’s asking price or the Jazz simply preferred Minnesota’s offer, Gobert is off the table for Toronto.

Here’s more from Scotto:

  • The Celtics, Bucks, Nets, and Bulls are among the teams that expressed interest in Chris Boucher before he agreed to re-sign with the Raptors, while forward Thaddeus Young – who is also returning to Toronto – drew interest from the Celtics and Pacers, according to Scotto.
  • The Nets made it a priority this offseason to land a wing defender capable of guarding multiple positions, which was why they agreed to trade for Royce O’Neale even as news of Kevin Durant‘s trade request was breaking. As Scotto explains, the Nets and Jazz previously explored a deal involving O’Neale and Joe Harris prior to the in-season trade deadline.
  • In addition to receiving interest from teams willing to give him the full taxpayer mid-level exception, Donte DiVincenzo also received an offer from a team with cap space that would’ve exceeded the two-year, $9.3MM contract he’s signing with the Warriors, says Scotto. The second-year player option Golden State gave him and DiVincenzo’s belief that the Warriors give him the best opportunity to play for a contender were factors in his decision to accept less money, Scotto adds.

Latest On Deandre Ayton

Reports this week have continued to suggest that the Suns and Deandre Ayton may be headed for a divorce, with a sign-and-trade agreement considered the most likely outcome. However, it remains unclear which teams will be Ayton’s top suitors in restricted free agency.

Prior to last week’s draft, the Pistons were viewed as a strong candidate to make a play for Ayton, but they landed Jalen Duren on draft night and committed to using most of their available cap room to accommodate salary dumps, reducing the likelihood that they’ll make a serious play for the former No. 1 overall pick.

In the latest episode of his Hoop Collective podcast, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said to “keep an eye on Indiana,” noting that the Pacers spoke to Phoenix about a possible Ayton deal prior to February’s trade deadline (hat tip to Timothy Rapp of Bleacher Report).

Indiana would make sense as a landing spot for Ayton if the team trades incumbent center Myles Turner. The Pacers have some cap flexibility and wouldn’t be as hamstrung by the base year compensation rule impacting Ayton as some of his other suitors might be.

As a result of the base year compensation rule, Ayton’s incoming salary from a new team’s perspective will count in full (on a maximum-salary contract, that’d be approximately $31MM), whereas from the Suns’ perspective, the outgoing salary would only be half that amount (about $15.5MM).

That will make salary-matching very challenging in some cases, but not for the Pacers, who have the cap flexibility necessary to accommodate Ayton’s new contract while sending out less than the $24-25MM+ that would be required to meet matching requirements.

Here are a few more rumors on possible landing spots for Ayton:

  • The Timberwolves, who are believed to be in the market for a rim-protecting center, are “another team to watch” for Ayton, Windhorst said during the aforementioned episode of his Hoop Collective podcast. The Wolves will be over the cap and would need to make a sign-and-trade deal. It’s unclear if they have the pieces necessary for such a move.
  • The Nets like Ayton, according to Chris Mannix of SI.com, who suggests Brooklyn could put together a package centered around Joe Harris. However, that would be extremely difficult, since acquiring a player via sign-and-trade would hard-cap the Nets, who project to be well over the tax. It’s hard to see how they could make such a move without moving off Kyrie Irving or Ben Simmons.
  • The Raptors have been mentioned as a possible Ayton suitor, but Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca (Twitter link) doesn’t believe there have been any talks about Toronto acquiring the big man.
  • John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 (Twitter link) suggests that the looming possibility of a Rudy Gobert trade could affect Ayton’s market, since some of the teams in the market for an impact center prefer the Jazz star to Ayton.

Scotto’s Latest: Portis, Johnson, Graham, Nets, Batum, More

Within his latest round-up of NBA rumors, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype confirms a number of items that have been previously reported or speculated. According to Scotto, Bucks forward Bobby Portis is widely expected to decline his $4.56MM player option to become a free agent, the Lakers are considered a strong bet to pick up Stanley Johnson‘s $2.35MM team option, and Pelicans guard Devonte’ Graham is available in trade talks.

Scotto’s article includes several other intriguing tidbits related to the draft, free agency, and the trade market. Here are some of the highlights:

  • The Nets have fielded trade inquiries on Joe Harris and Cam Thomas, according to Scotto, who says rival executives believe Brooklyn could potentially get a first-round pick in exchange for Thomas. While there’s a sense that Harris might be more available than in previous years due to the Nets’ February acquisition of Seth Curry, the team still believes Harris would be a useful piece on next year’s roster due to his ability to help on the boards and space the floor around Ben Simmons, Scotto writes.
  • The Timberwolves, Grizzlies, and Bucks are among the teams that have inquired about the No. 14 overall pick, currently held by the Cavaliers, league sources tell HoopsHype. Scotto previously reported that Cleveland would be open to the idea of moving down in the draft if it meant acquiring a future first-round pick.
  • Rival executives who spoke to Scotto believe veteran forward Nicolas Batum could be in line for a deal worth $10MM per year after turning down his player option. The Clippers would have the ability to go that high to re-sign Batum using his Early Bird rights.
  • Wake Forest forward Jake LaRavia has visited Milwaukee and worked out for the Bucks twice during the pre-draft process, Scotto reports. ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, who previously identified LaRavia as a player on Milwaukee’s radar, has him ranked 28th on ESPN’s big board of 2022 prospects. The Bucks hold the 24th overall pick.

Nets Rumors: Simmons, Irving, Harris, Curry, Dragic

When Ben Simmons and agent Rich Paul met with Nets leadership – including GM Sean Marks – earlier this week, Simmons told the people in the room that he’s experiencing a “mental block,” which is creating stress that could be exacerbating his back problems, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The setback Simmons experienced prior to his anticipated Nets debut in Game 4 of the team’s first-round series vs. Boston was initially described as a physical one — he was said to be suffering from renewed back pain. But Charania’s report suggests there are still mental obstacles to clear before Simmons returns to the court.

Reporting this week from Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report and Michael Scotto of HoopsHype backs up that idea. Fischer wrote that it’s “quite clear that the mental aspect of Simmons’ return to game action is the biggest hurdle” he has to overcome, while Scotto has heard from a source close to Simmons that the 25-year-old is “going through it right now mentally.”

According to Charania, Nets officials told Simmons in this week’s meeting that the franchise is willing to do whatever is necessary to support him, and Scotto hears that the team has indeed been “supportive at every turn,” making the three-time All-Star more comfortable than he was in Philadelphia. Simmons didn’t end up making it back this season, but Scotto’s source is “very confident” he’ll return to action next season.

Here’s more on the Nets:

  • Echoing Jake Fischer’s reporting from earlier in the week, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer suggests a Simmons trade this offseason is unlikely because teams are warier than ever about his condition. A source from a non-playoff team that was previously interested in Simmons told O’Connor, “We’re at the point we’d want to see him play first.”
  • Within his story on the Nets, O’Connor writes that there were “crickets” earlier in the 2021/22 season when the team was reportedly willing to listen to trade inquiries on Kyrie Irving.
  • The Nets had some interest in acquiring an athletic wing defender such as Dorian Finney-Smith, Royce O’Neale, or Marcus Smart prior to this year’s trade deadline, according to Scotto, who thinks the team could explore the trade market for that type of player again this offseason. Scotto speculates that Brooklyn might dangle one of its sharpshooters – Joe Harris or Seth Curry – in those talks.
  • Goran Dragic, who turns 36 next Friday, isn’t considered retirement. The veteran point guard said this week that he’d like to play for two or three more seasons, tweets Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. Dragic will be a free agent this summer after signing a rest-of-season contract with Brooklyn in February.

Nets’ Joe Harris Undergoes Ankle Surgery

Nets forward Joe Harris underwent left ankle ligament reconstruction surgery on Monday, according to a team press release. It’s the second time this season that Harris has undergone surgery on the ankle.

The procedure was performed by Dr. Robert Anderson in Green Bay, Wisc. Harris is expected to make a full recovery prior to next season’s training camp.

Harris appeared in just 14 games this season, averaging 11.3 PPG and 4.0 RPG in 30.2 MPG.

The team’s general manager, Sean Marks, announced early this month Harris would require season-ending surgery. The veteran sharpshooter hasn’t played since November 14 and underwent left ankle surgery later that month. The original prognosis was that Harris would miss approximately four-to-eight weeks. However, he had setbacks during the rehab process.

Harris, who re-signed with Brooklyn on a four-year, $75MM contract in November 2020, will have two years remaining on the contract and could attract attention on the trade market this offseason. The Nets had trade discussions with several teams regarding Harris prior to last month’s trade deadline.

Atlantic Notes: Raptors, Harris, Nets, Horford

The Raptors must address their perimeter shooting this offseason, Eric Koreen of The Athletic argues. Gary Trent‘s shooting slump and injuries to Fred VanVleet and OG Anunoby have exposed the lack of natural shooters on the roster. Toronto ought to focus on finding another shooter or two in free agency or the draft, Koreen says. The Raptors currently rank 13th in 3-point shooting.

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • The Nets had discussions with several teams prior to the trade deadline regarding Joe Harris, according to Ian Begley of SNY.tv. However, Harris’ ankle injury impacted what teams were willing to give up for him. Harris, who hasn’t played since Nov. 14, opted this week for season-ending surgery on his left ankle. He has two years left on his four-year, $75MM contract.
  • The Nets are running out of time to build chemistry, Mark W. Sanchez of the New York Post notes. Even with Kevin Durant back in the lineup, the rotation remains in flux. Ben Simmons has yet to make his season debut, Kyrie Irving‘s availability remains uncertain, Goran Dragic just joined the team and the coaches are still sorting out frontcourt options. “We are cutting it close,” Durant said. “There’s under 20 games left in the season. We have to go out there and figure it out.”
  • Al Horford has proven his worth during the Celtics’ turnaround, Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe writes. Boston has outscored opponents by 7.6 points per 100 possessions with Horford on the court. Horford, whose $26.5MM salary next season is partially guaranteed, has been a defensive anchor during the resurgence. “Everybody thinks Al is up there in age and that he’s lost it,” Marcus Smart said. “He’s still got it.”

Nets Notes: Simmons, Harris, Irving, Harden

A best-case scenario for Ben SimmonsNets debut would be within about two weeks, writes Mark W. Sanchez of The New York Post. General manager Sean Marks said there’s “no real timetable” for Simmons, but indicated the team is hoping to get Simmons more fully involved in practices in about a week.

“Hopefully by the end of next week he’s getting more into the team environment,” Marks said during an appearance on YES Network. “And then we can really ramp up and start him getting into game shape.”

Sanchez suggests that Simmons could participate in a high-intensity workout for the first time next Saturday, noting that the Nets typically require players to go through three of those practices before they’re cleared to play. Sanchez speculates that the March 18 game vs. Portland or March 21 vs. Utah are possibilities for Simmons’ debut.

Here’s more on the Nets:

  • The Nets will recoup an estimated $4.5MM in insurance money as a result of Joe Harrisseason-ending injury, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link). While that insurance money will provide a little financial relief for an ownership group projected to spend over $260MM in team salary and tax payments, it won’t affect Brooklyn’s end-of-season tax bill, Marks notes (via Twitter).
  • During his YES Network appearance on Thursday, Marks suggested that the Nets are still hoping for some news soon on when New York City might lift its private sector vaccine mandate that prevents Kyrie Irving from playing in home games. “We’re waiting like everybody else to see how these mandates change, how they tweak,” Marks said, per NetsDaily. “Again, over the next 24-48 hours, hopefully, there’s some news for us as to what they may look like. And Kyrie can get back out here. Nobody wants to be on the court more than Kyrie.” As The New York Times outlines, NYC mayor Eric Adams confirmed today that the public Key to NYC vaccine mandate will be lifted on Monday, but that won’t affect Irving’s status.
  • A source tells Ian Begley of SNY.tv that the possibility of the Nets facing the Raptors in the postseason was one reason James Harden was concerned earlier this season about Irving’s vaccine status. Toronto is the only other NBA city where Irving is currently ineligible to play due to being unvaccinated against COVID-19.