Brooklyn Nets 2017-2018 Player Preview: Joe Harris


When Brooklyn Nets General Manager Sean Marks took the job to rebuild the Nets, he had a certain type of player in mind. The prototype for this player is guard Joe Harris.

Joe Harris played sparingly in his first two seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers, but got a great opportunity to showcase his talent last season in Brooklyn. His three-point shooting ability is what attracted Marks to him, and he didn’t disappoint.

Harris got off to a slow start, shooting only 34.5% from three over the first 17 games of the season. But was able to right the ship, having a great January, shooting 42.6% from distance. Harris showed an elevated comfort level with the offense as he confidently shot whenever he was open.

Harris battled some minor injuries throughout the season, and it showed as his shooting was not consistent at times. He missed six games at the end January, but eventually returned and went on an 11-game tear from downtown. He shot 48.8% from three during that stretch and looked like he was becoming the player Marks had envisioned.

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Unfortunately, his season was cut short due to a shoulder injury and fans were deprived of seeing that smooth shot develop any further. It is likely that he could have come back to play later in the year, but there was no need to risk further injury in a 20 win season.

Heading into the 2017-2018 season, Harris needs to go right back into the mode that he was in before the injury. He needs to find his shooting stroke early and often because if he doesn’t there is more depth behind him that can shoot the three ball.

The players Harris must compete with are guard Sean Kilpatrick and newcomer Allan Crabbe. Crabbe is coming to the Nets after shooting 44.4% from three last season for the Portland Trail Blazers. While Kilpatrick is returning with more confidence than ever after becoming the sixth man for the Nets last season.

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If Harris doesn’t come out shooting at a high percentage early, he will find his minutes cut short. In order to preserve his minutes, Harris must improve on all the other facets of his game.

Harris is a passable defender, but if he can improve then he will make himself more valuable to the Nets, who were awful last year on defense. Improving his passing ability and ball handling will also keep him on the floor by making other players better and limiting turnovers.

If Harris can improve on any of these facets of his game then he should be right around the similar number of minutes that he played last season. Marks saw enough in him to bring him back this year when he could have let him go.

Next: Brooklyn Nets 2017-2018 Season Preview

As it stands, it looks like Harris needs to do a lot of things right to get playing time. With only nine players returning from last season, there will be a lot of new players for him to compete with. He will likely have a smaller role than he’s used to, but Harris can still be an asset to the Nets.