The Bulls selected Gary Harris with the 19th pick in the NBA draft on Thursday and reportedly agreed to trade his rights to the Nuggets. Here’s a look at Harris and how he fits with Denver:
Bio: Michigan State | Sophomore | Shooting guard
Vitals: 6-4, 205 pounds
2013-14 stats: 16.7 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.8 steals, 42.9 FG%, 35.2 3FG%
Strengths: An intelligent, versatile combo guard, Harris brings a polished blend of shooting and defense that is hard to find in this draft. He’s young for his class and turns 20 in September, suggesting there’s development still to come. The intangibles are great -- Harris is a tough, smart player who comes from a winning program. Some think he can transition to playing the point full time. Even though he's not a point guard, he should be able to assume some lead-guard duties when needed. He will continue to improve and help on both ends of the floor.
Weaknesses: Harris is a little undersized as a two-guard, and not an elite athlete. He’s not as adept attacking the rim as NBA teams would like, either. Although he’s a capable shooter with nice form, he sank only 35.2 percent from three-point range last season. He’s best served playing alongside another guard who can create looks for him -- based on his current skill set he’s more of a secondary backcourt option. Though Harris is a pretty safe pick, he might not have as high of a ceiling as some of the other guards in his first-round draft range.
Team Fit: Harris isn't poised to start for a Nuggets team that acquired Arron Afflalo from the Magic earlier Thursday, and the former Michigan State standout faces competition for backup minutes if Denver holds on to Randy Foye. Nonetheless, it's a quality move to grab a skilled, high-IQ player with two-way potential at this stage in the draft. That's the kicker: Not only is Harris a valued prospect for his perimeter stroke, but he also should be able to guard either backcourt position for Denver, which lacks perimeter defense.
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