NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Michigan State G Gary Harris
|06.18.14 at 9:00 am ET|
As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2014 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be available to the Celtics when they make their two selections in the first round.
Position: Combo guard
School: Michigan State
Weight: 205 pounds
Key 2013-14 stats: 16.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists
Scouting report: Harris is one of the best defenders in the draft and can easily defend multiple positions despite being undersized. He’s a lockdown defender in man-to-man situations, but also is excellent off-ball, constantly displaying top-notch awareness by hitting his rotations and by sticking to players running through screens.
The 19-year-old also has complementary scoring skills on the offensive end, as he is an improving 3-point shooter and ball-handler. Some teams even project him as a “modern point guard” because he is a solid passer and tends to make the right play in pick-and-roll situations.
Harris does have his problems as a scorer, though, as he was extremely inefficient in the half-court, with only a 49.5 effective field goal percentage and a 43.1 at-rim field goal percentage, according to Hoop-Math.com. Part of the reason for those struggles is his lack of a floater or mid-range game to compensate for his finishing ability at the rim.
Overall, Harris has a lot of skill at his age and should continue to improve on the offensive end. Even if he doesn’t, his defense is still good enough for him to carve out a role as a defensive specialist.
How he fits: Harris could work as a contingency plan in case Avery Bradley can’t be re-signed or is used in a sign-and-trade deal. Harris brings a similar skill set and could potentially have even higher upside than Bradley.
ESPN Insider: Why Harris is a lottery pick
SB Nation: The big Gary Harris scouting report: The 3-and-D prototype
Video: Gary Harris pre-draft workout and interview