Retaining sharpshooter Joe Harris will be the Brooklyn Nets’ top priority following the conclusion of the 2019-20 NBA season, according to the team’s general manager, Sean Marks. As relayed by New York Daily News, Marks spoke about the importance of keeping Harris in Brooklyn during an interview segment that will air on the YES Network ahead of its broadcast of the Nets’ Thursday night game with the Portland Trail Blazers.
“Priority number one. It’s that simple, yeah,” said Marks in the interview. “We’re obviously very proud of where Joe has come from. And where he is today. And he still continues to get better. [He] still wants to work on his craft. So, yeah, signing him and seeing him with this group will certainly be a priority for us.”
After earning $7.6 million on the back end of a two-year pact with Brooklyn this season (per Spotrac), Harris will become an unrestricted free agent following the conclusion of the 2019-20 campaign. And in a year that largely will be devoid of big-name free agents, he could be one of the most sought-after players on the open market.
Harris began his professional career with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014 when the team drafted him No. 33 overall that summer following a four-year collegiate run at Virginia. He was primarily relegated to mop-up duty and D-League assignments during his 18-month run with the franchise before he underwent surgery to remove an extra bone in his right foot in 2016. Shortly thereafter, he was traded to the Orlando Magic, but he never suited up for the club.
That summer, he signed with the Nets and subsequently developed into a solid rotational player and one of the NBA’s better three-point shooters. Over his four years with the franchise, he has also become a better defender while continuing to display elite-level touch from the outside — he connected on nearly 43 percent of his three-point attempts this season.
Harris has been a full-time starter with the Nets since 2018.
The Nets’ biggest get in 2020-21 will be perennial All-Star Kevin Durant, who signed with the team last summer but was unable to take the court this year due to injury. With he and Kyrie Irving leading the charge, the Nets will need proven role players to provide depth if they hope to realize their massive potential as a possible Eastern Conference powerhouse. To that end, Harris arguably fits the bill as a legitimate “3-and-D” specialist who has already been with the club.
Although Harris is deserving of a pay raise, he may find it difficult to get one this offseason due to the financial issues NBA franchises are facing due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As relayed previously by The Inquisitr, Los Angeles Clippers’ big man Montrezl Harrell is in a similar situation as he enters free agency. The lack of teams looking to spend big money could bode well for the Nets’ chances of retaining Harris.