Joe Harris

Nets’ LeVert, Harris, Allen Won’t Play On Tuesday

The Nets will be without three of their key players on Tuesday, with head coach Jacque Vaughn announcing today that Caris LeVert (thigh contusion), Joe Harris (back tightness), and Jarrett Allen (rest) won’t play against Milwaukee (Twitter links via Alex Schiffer of The Athletic).

Tuesday’s game against the Bucks will be the first half of a back-to-back set for the Nets, which Vaughn noted today when announcing his inactives. Allen, at least, should be good to go on Wednesday vs. the Celtics after playing 38 minutes on Sunday vs. Washington — we’ll have to wait to find out if LeVert and/or Harris will be back for Wednesday’s game as well.

The Nets’ active roster on Tuesday will look almost nothing like the group that the team relied on for much of the season. Even with LeVert, Harris, and Allen in the lineup, Brooklyn entered the restart shorthanded, missing injured players like Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and Nicolas Claxton, as well as Spencer Dinwiddie, Taurean Prince, DeAndre Jordan, and Wilson Chandler, all of whom either opted out of the restart or were ruled out following positive coronavirus tests.

On Tuesday, the Nets will be led by the likes of Tyler Johnson, Garrett Temple, Chris Chiozza, Rodions Kurucs, Lance Thomas, and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot as they go up against the NBA’s best team.

Joe Harris Never Seriously Considered Sitting Out

The already depleted Nets would have been in even bigger trouble heading to Orlando if forward and impending free agent Joe Harris had decided to sit out the remainder of the season. Fortunately for Brooklyn, Harris never seriously considered that option, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post.

“It’s obviously stuff that you have to think about and discuss. But at the end of the day, it wasn’t like it was a difficult decision for me,” Harris said in a Zoom call with the media. “I’m healthy. I’m going to play and finish out the season.”

Despite tumbling revenue around the league due to the coronavirus pandemic, Harris is expected to get a healthy raise. He is on the back end of a two-year, $16MM deal.

Harris is averaging a career-high 13.9 PPM, 4.3 RPG and 2.1 APG this season while shooting 41.2% from long range. He suffered a significant ankle sprain in Brooklyn’s last game before play was halted, so his declaration of good health is significant.

“It’s obviously a different circumstance given everything that’s going on and the time off that we’ve had,” Harris said. “But the way that I look at it is like, ‘All right, we have eight games left. This is the equivalent of Game 74 in the regular season.’ I wouldn’t take the last eight games off of the season just to get ready for free agency.”

A comparable player heading to free agency, the Wizards’ Davis Bertans, opted to sit out the remainder of the season. Bertans has a history of ACL injuries.

The Nets will be without injured stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant in Orlando. DeAndre Jordan won’t play after testing positive for COVID-19 while guard Spencer Dinwiddie, who is also recovering from the virus, is undecided about playing.  Nicolas Claxton is also injured, while Wilson Chandler has decided to sit out for family reasons.

Nets Notes: Dinwiddie, Marks, Durant, Harris

Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie has a pointed question for the NBA if it decides to resume its season with just playoff teams, relays Ted Holmlund of The New York Post.

“If we go 16 teams directly to playoffs do those teams get paid more for the risk and carrying this year’s revenue after Corona and China?” Dinwiddie tweeted.

He offered a few more comments in response to fans who replied to the tweet. After someone accused him of viewing the return only in financial terms, he wrote, “Isn’t that what big business is about? I’m a small business that is a cog in the machine of a bigger business lol.” After another claimed that players ceded some of their leverage by admitting they want to play again, Dinwiddie stated, “Yes, the team owners have run a master class in media manipulation.”

There’s more from Brooklyn:

  • After dropping a hint three weeks ago that Kevin Durant might be close to a return, Nets general manager Sean Marks now seems resigned that it won’t happen until next season, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post. Sources tell Berman that the league hiatus has made it impossible for Durant to maintain the progress he was showing during workouts in late winter. Durant wasn’t in game condition when the season stopped and needed five-on-five scrimmages to reach that point.
  • Talking to Sky Sport New Zealand, Marks said Durant and Kyrie Irving have a chance to add to their legacies if they can bring a championship to Brooklyn, Berman adds in the same story. “That’s what these guys are fighting for now,’’ Marks said. “If you talk to Kevin and Ky, they’ve both won —Kevin’s won two championships, Ky’s won a championship — so now, it’s how do we make this ours, how do we take this to the next level and who do we do it with?”
  • In an interview with Michael Grady of YES Network, Joe Harris called remaining in Brooklyn his “ideal scenario” as free agency approaches. “I look back just over four years ago coming to Brooklyn, getting an opportunity to play here, to learn as a young player to play through my mistakes and be given a niche in this league,” Harris said. “And I’ve always loved New York and I love living in Brooklyn. Obviously, it’s a business at the end of the day and there are things you can’t control a lot of things that go on. My ideal scenario … that’s what it is for me.”

Joe Harris Reveals Injury Suffered Before Start Of Hiatus

Nets swingman Joe Harris estimates he would have been sidelined for about a month if the NBA hadn’t gone on hiatus in March, according to a NetsDaily story. In an interview with UVA Today, a publication by the University of Virginia, Harris said he suffered a severe ankle sprain in Brooklyn’s final game before the shutdown.

“So I was going to be out a month, no matter what, and then (the hiatus) went down literally the next day,” Harris said. “I wasn’t even with the team. I flew back to New York with one of our trainers, and we were supposed to play at Golden State (on March 12). The rest of the team was in San Francisco, and they just had to pack up their stuff and leave from there.”

Harris confirmed that he has fully healed and will be ready to play whenever the NBA season resumes. He said the injury gave him an opportunity to work with team trainers, which only players who are doing rehab work are permitted to do under lockdown regulations. However, Harris wasn’t able to use the practice court or any basketballs in his workouts.

“The only loophole that I have right now is that the NBA allowed guys that were in the midst of rehab go into the facility and work with the trainer, so I’ve been able to do that for the last few weeks,” Harris said. “But when I go in, I have to wear a mask and gloves the entire time, and only you and the trainer are allowed in there.

“… Everything’s shut down. I just do rehab, and I do it with one trainer, and it’s just the two of us in the entire facility, so it’s a little strange, because when you go in there, it’s usually hustling and bustling, with a lot going on and good energy, and now there’s just two of you in there.”

Harris also spoke briefly about free agency, saying he hasn’t “really thought about it a ton.” After four productive years in Brooklyn, Harris is in position for a sizable raise from the $7.7MM he’s making this season. The Nets will have to decide if he is worth the investment after spending heavily to add Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan last summer.

“It’s one of those things where I’ll just sort of cross that bridge when I get to it,” Harris said. “Right now all the focus is on prioritizing your health and well-being. I’m really more worried about that versus anything basketball-related, to be honest.”

Nets Notes: Harris, Vaughn, Temple, Dinwiddie

An important decision awaits Joe Harris whenever the offseason finally arrives and the Nets‘ sharpshooter would like a long-term arrangement in Brooklyn, relays Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Harris is headed for free agency and figures to earn a sizable raise after making $7.6MM this season.

“In [an] ideal world, I’d play my whole career in Brooklyn,” Harris said this week in an interview with Ian Eagle of the YES Network. “I came in with [GM] Sean [Marks], even the ownership. It’s just one of those things where you have a close connection with a lot of people that are within the organization. You kind of all came in together. Now I’ve been here for four years and built unbelievable relationships with everybody that’s a part of the organization. It’s amazing just to see where we’ve gone from Year 1 to now. And I obviously want to be a part of that, and a part of it for a long time.”

Harris was just trying to earn a spot in the league when he signed with the Nets in 2016. He has developed into a starter the past two years and led the league in 3-point percentage last season.

There’s more from Brooklyn:

  • The NBA’s hiatus is limiting interim coach Jacque Vaughn’s opportunity to prove he deserves the job on a permanent basis, observe Alex Schiffer and Josh Robbins of The Athletic. Vaughn won both games after taking over for Kenny Atkinson, but was immediately presented with the challenge of trying to hold the team together while the league is shut down. “I think I’m very realistic about it,” Vaughn said about his chances of keeping the job beyond this season. “I’ve challenged the guys to make the most of 20 games and, hopefully, it’s more than that. What’s going to happen is going to happen. I’m going to give you all I’ve got. I’ll definitely do that.”
  • As a vice president of the Players Association, Garrett Temple has more than his own situation to worry about, Lewis writes in a separate story. “There is a clause in the [collective bargaining agreement] that stipulates what will happen if the season has to end because of a natural disaster,” Temple explained. “The teams make the most money on the postseasons, which is the reasons why players’ salaries may be cut 20 percent if we don’t play again.”
  • With the Bulls looking for someone to run their front office, Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie jokingly tweeted his interest today, along with a plan to revamp the team.

Atlantic Notes: Harris, Knicks, Brown, Hernandez

The Nets hope to re-sign sharpshooter Joe Harris in free agency this summer, provided the two sides can agree to terms, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes.

Harris is set to enter unrestricted free agency, with the 28-year-old likely to seek a big pay upgrade on the open market. The Nets hold his Bird Rights and can go over the salary cap to re-sign him.

“Yeah, definitely! Why wouldn’t you?” Harris said when asked whether he hopes to play with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, with the Nets unable to sport their full rotation this season due to injuries.

“Obviously those are guys who I’ve gotten close with now that I’ve been with them this past year. They’re obviously incredible players. You see what they’re able to do when they are healthy and are playing. I don’t see that there’s anybody in the NBA who wouldn’t want to play with those guys.”

The Nets view Harris as a valuable off-ball threat and necessary asset to have alongside primary ball-handlers such as Irving, Durant, Spencer Dinwiddie and Caris LeVert. He held per-game averages of 13.9 points on 41% shooting from deep this season, starting in all 63 games.

Here are some other notes from the Atlantic division:

  • The Knicks’ most important offseason need is an upgrade at point guard, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes in his mailbag. Berman notes that adding a point guard who can play-make and shoot from distance would elevate the games of RJ Barrett and Kevin Knox immensely.
  • For Celtics forward Jaylen Brown, it’s a matter of when — not if — he will become an NBA All-Star, A. Sherrod Blakely writes for NBC Sports Boston. Brown averaged 20.4 points and 6.4 rebounds per game this season, narrowly missing his first All-Star selection.
  • Blake Murphy of The Athletic examines the recovery of Raptors big man Dewan Hernandez, who battled a major right ankle sprain this season. “It was one of the worst sprains ever. That takes time,” Hernandez said. “But I’ve been through worse, so I’m good mentally.” Hernandez, the No. 59 pick of the 2019 NBA Draft, originally suffered the ankle injury in late December.

Atlantic Notes: Irving, Walker, Harris, Ellington

The Nets recently ruled out Kyrie Irving for the rest of the 2019/20 season, with the star point guard set to undergo arthroscopic surgery on his injured shoulder in the near future. Irving, who appeared in just 20 games this season, is expected to be ready for the start of next season — provided he doesn’t have rotator cuff damage or suffer any major setbacks.

“I’m not going to get into details now, because he’s still evaluating what his options may be over the next couple of days,” general manager Sean Marks said, as relayed by Brian Lewis of the New York Post. “But in terms of he is having surgery, and he will be out for the remainder of the season.”

Irving first injured his shoulder against the Pelicans on Nov. 4. He continued playing through the pain for multiple contests, later missing 26 straight games as a result of the injury. Brooklyn failed to adjust to Irving’s arrival, mostly playing better without him this season.

“Obviously, we feel bad for [Irving],” teammate Caris LeVert said. “He wants to be out here with us. That’s first and foremost. He definitely worked extremely hard to come back. It’s just a series of unfortunate things that happened with him.”

Here are some other notes from the Atlantic Division tonight:

  • Celtics guard Kemba Walker didn’t have a minutes restriction during the All-Star Game last week, according to Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe (Twitter link). Walker missed Sunday’s contest against the Lakers due to a knee injury, which was made worse by the highly competitive style of play in the All-Star Game.
  • Nets sharpshooter Joe Harris has expressed his desire to re-sign with the team this summer, with the 28-year-old set to become an unrestricted free agent. Brooklyn is expected to enter next season with the likes of Kevin Durant, Irving, LeVert, Spencer DinwiddieJarrett Allen and others, sporting one of the league’s most talented cores on paper. “Definitely, why wouldn’t you?” Harris said when asked if he hopes to re-sign this summer, according to NetsDaily. “Obviously, those are guys who I’ve gotten close with now that I’ve been with them this past year,” Harris said. “They’re obviously incredible players. You see what they’re able to do when they are healthy and playing. I don’t think there’s anybody in the NBA who wouldn’t want to play with those guys.”
  • Knicks guard Wayne Ellington remembers the late Kobe Bryant as both a friend and a mentor, Steve Popper of Newsday writes. Both Ellington and Bryant played for the Lakers during the 2014/15 season, with Bryant’s competitiveness, drive and passion holding a permanent impact on Ellington and many other players  around the association.

And-Ones: Pistons, Morris, Harris, Gasol

The Pistons have made some interesting moves over the past few weeks, trading away Andre Drummond and agreeing to buyouts with both Reggie Jackson and Markieff Morris. The franchise appears to be in the midst of a tear-down, and as ESPN’s Bobby Marks explains (Twitter link), this offseason will be a test to see if the team has the stomach to be patient and rebuild.

Detroit is projected to have approximately $36MM in cap space this summer and what the organization does with that flexibility will go a long way toward identifying the team’s actual plans.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Lakers appear to be the favorite to sign Morris, though as Marks tweets, other teams are eligible to claim the power forward off waivers, which would void the buyout. The new team would be on the hook for his player option next season if they claim Morris. Marks adds that teams can use a trade exception to claim the veteran and the Rockets are among the teams with a large enough TPE.
  • Joe Harris hopes to re-sign with the Nets, as Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes. Harris spoke about his desire to play alongside Kevin Durant, who hasn’t suited up since signing with Brooklyn.
  • Marc Gasol could miss additional time with his lingering hamstring injury, according to Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports (Twitter link). The Raptors want to make sure the big man is fully healthy before putting him back out on the court.

Southeast Notes: Herro, Butler, Hawks, Jones Jr.

Heat guard Tyler Herro initially feared he might be done for the regular season when he injured his foot, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald tweets. Herro, who suffered the injury on February 3, might be able to take off the protective boot sometime this week, Chiang adds. The 13th pick in last June’s draft, Herro is averaging 13.1 PPG and shooting 39.3% from deep.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • Jimmy Butler‘s personality hasn’t changed but he has helped, rather than hurt, the Heat’s team chemistry, as Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald details. Guard Goran Dragic says the franchise’s culture made Butler fit seamlessly into the locker room. “They push you here. Jimmy is the same,” he said. “If you’re not used to it, it can [be] like, ‘I don’t like him.’ But this is the perfect situation for us and Jimmy. He just wants you and the team to get better.”
  • The Hawks will be looking to accelerate their rebuild during this offseason, Chris Kirschner of The Athletic writes in his latest mailbag. They will likely look to add younger veterans instead of acquiring bad contracts as they did last offseason, Kirschner continues. Davis Bertans, Joe Harris, Gordon Hayward, Evan Fournier and Maurice Harkless are potential targets, Kirschner adds.
  • Re-signing Derrick Jones Jr. and Dragic will likely be at the top of the Heat’s priority list this offseason, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel opines. Negotiations will Jones could be tricky, since Miami wants to protect its cap space for the summer of 2021, when the free agent market could be robust. At his young age, Jones will probably be looking for a long-term contract, Winderman adds.

Nets Notes: Lineups, Bryant, Claxton, Levy

As the Nets prepare for Kyrie Irving‘s return to action, the team seems to be mulling the idea of leaning more heavily on small-ball lineups, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. While it’s possible not all of Irving, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Caris LeVert will be in Brooklyn’s starting five, there’s a chance that all three guards could play together at the end of games.

“The big question, the big thing is who’s going to finish; that’s the one, how do you finish?” head coach Kenny Atkinson said. “We have opportunities to play small, really small, too. That’s within our possibilities. We’ll just figure it out. It’s hard to know until you have it in your hands what exactly you’re going to do.”

As Lewis notes, a lineup that features the Nets’ top three guards alongside Joe Harris at the four and Jarrett Allen at the five has only played 18 minutes together this year, but it has been one of the club’s most effective five-man units, outscoring opponents by 20.5 minutes per 100 possessions. Harris told Lewis that he “wouldn’t be surprised” if Brooklyn opts for smaller lineups more often the rest of the way.

“I would’ve never thought in my life I’d be playing power forward in the NBA, but that’s the direction the NBA is going,” Harris said. “And as the year wears on, teams are doing whatever it takes to win games. Sometimes that’s going with a smaller lineup.”

Here’s more on the Nets:

  • Alex Schiffer of The Athletic takes a look at how Travon Bryant, who had a decade-long career as a player in international leagues, has become a key member of Atkinson’s coaching staff. Bryant, who works with Brooklyn’s frontcourt players, has had an impact on rookie big man Nicolas Claxton this season. “I enjoy working with him every single day,” Claxton said. “I have to give some credit to him. He’s extremely knowledgeable of the game, and I think he’s going to be a good coach in this league for a while.”
  • Back in November, the Nets parted ways with CEO David Levy after just two months. Speaking recently to Ira Boudway of Bloomberg (hat tip to Brian Lewis of The New York Post), Nets owner Joseph Tsai explained that he and Levy had different expectations for what that job would entail. “He was already looking ahead at how to grow the J Tsai sports portfolio, but we also needed someone to do the nuts and bolts,” Tsai said. “Maybe he thought that he wanted to do something that’s bigger and he could just bring in other people to do it, and I’m of a view that before you outsource something you should do it yourself.”
  • After getting a week off for the All-Star break, the Nets will make a concerted effort to avoid a repeat of their post-Christmas-break struggles, Lewis writes in a separate story for The New York Post. Following a four-day Christmas break, Brooklyn lost seven consecutive games and 12 of 14. A similar post-All-Star run could jeopardize the club’s hold on a playoff spot.