Brooklyn Nets shopping around Virginia alum Joe Harris
It’s a compliment to Joe Harris that the Brooklyn Nets are gauging the market for interest in the UVA alum sharpshooter as the front office looks to shake things up.
The Nets are currently first in the East with a 21-8 record, and the breaking news Friday afternoon is that they’re finally willing to allow earth is flat franchise point guard Kyrie Irving to play road games only due to their ongoing roster issues.
(Or, maybe the execs are trying to build trade value there. Stay tuned.)
Harris has been out since Nov. 14 with an ankle injury that required surgery, and is expected back in action in mid-January.
The 2014 Virginia alumnus signed a four-year, $72 million contract extension with the Nets in 2020, and as a guy making $18 million per year, and shooting 46.6 percent from three-point range, you’d expect to command a nice return if you were to move him mid-season.
Harris (11.3 ppg) and Patty Mills (13.3 ppg, 44.9% 3FG) are the two space-creating shooters on the roster, and Mills is under contract for $6 million a year, so you wouldn’t get much back in return there.
Brooklyn desperately needs bodies in the frontcourt to supplement old guys LaMarcus Aldridge (14.0 ppg, 5.7 rebs/g, 57.3% FG, 36.7% 3FG) and Blake Griffin (6.2 ppg, 4.9 rebs/g, 35.8% FG, 18.2% 3FG).
The only pieces to move that could get something worthwhile in return would seem to be Harris and Irving, who has yet to take the court this season because he has refused to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and is thus prohibited under New York City local laws from playing in home games at the Barclays Center.
The news that the Nets are going to allow Irving to play road games doesn’t seem tenable long-term, for so many obvious reasons, but it would seem to give teams who may be interested in him a chance to see what kind of shape he’s in ahead of perhaps swinging a deal.
Story by Chris Graham