NBA Free Agent Roundup: Joe Harris, Anthony Gill … Montrezl Harrell

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UVA alum Joe Harris has signed a four-year, $75 million deal with Brooklyn, tying him long-term with the franchise that gave him his big chance four years ago.

A second-round draft pick of the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014, Harris was waived by Orlando after a trade in early 2016 that followed season-ending right foot surgery.

He signed with Brooklyn in the summer, and averaged 8.2 points per game.

His playing time increased in 2017-2018, and his scoring average upped as well, to 10.8 points per game.

Harris came into his own in his third season with the Nets, which saw him become a full-time starter, averaging 13.7 points on 50 percent shooting from the floor and 47.4 percent from three-point range.

He played for Team USA in the World Championships in 2019, and then had a career season in 2019-2020, averaging 14.5 points points per game, shooting 48.6 percent from the floor and 42.4 percent from three.

The returns of megastars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving should mean more open looks from the perimeter for Harris, a career 42.6 percent shooter from long-range.

Harris averaged 12.5 points per game over his four-year career at Virginia, capping his time on Grounds by being named ACC Tournament MVP in 2014.

Another member of the 2014 ACC Tournament champs, Anthony Gill, will finally get his NBA chance, with the Washington Wizards, who signed the 2016 UVA alum to a two-year deal.

Gill, a 6’8” power forward, averaged 10.5 points per game over the past three seasons with BC Khimki in the EuroLeague, shooting 57.2 percent from the floor and 40.6 percent from three.

Terms of the deal were not released, though it looks to be for the league minimum, which would come in around $898,000 a year.

Gill averaged 11.3 points per game in his three seasons at UVA before going undrafted in 2016.

One last bit of free agent news from Friday: Montrezl Harrell, the reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year, signed a two-year, $19 million deal with the 2020 champion Los Angeles Lakers.

The local tie: Harrell had a monster game in high school in the Fishburne Military School gym in Waynesboro in 2012.

Harrell, in a postgrad year at Hargrave Military Academy, had 51 points, 17 rebounds and six blocks – and 18 dunks! – in a 122-119 overtime win over Fishburne.

I was there.

It was the most instense game I would see in person until the 2019 Final Four.

I walked to the game from my house just off the FMS campus.

Life ain’t bad when a 122-119 OT game with a future NBA millionaire walking distance from your house is the best non-Final Four game you’ve seen in person.

My heart was beating so hard that night.

Story by Chris Graham


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